1969 New York Mets
W: 100 L: 62 PCT: .617
“Meet the Mets” as the song goes. The 1969 Mets, found themselves worthy of such nicknames as the “Amazin’ Mets” and the “Miracle Mets” after being crowned 1969 World Champions, over the heavily favored AL Champion Baltimore Orioles. The ’69 Mets thrived on their pitching, the uncanny ability to gain the clutch hits, and probably some luck in the World Series, by way of the “shoe polish play”. And only after overcoming a 9.5 game deficit to the Durocher led Chicago Cubs.
(Jerry Koosman into the arms of catcher Jerry Grote, Donn Clendenon #22 and Ed Charles #5)
In this 4-team NL challenge, the ’69 Mets will need to hang their hopes on much of the same: pitching, clutch hitting, and some luck. Their pitching stacks up nicely, when you compare to the other 3 teams, with the 1906 Cubs the only team providing a better pitching staff.
The 4-man rotation the ’69 Mets will use in ABCL-1 consists of: Tom Seaver (25-7, 2.21 ERA), Gary Gentry (13-12, 3.43), Jerry Koosman (17-9, 2.28) and Don Cardwell (8-10, 3.01). The Mets will see a few spot starts by Jim McAndrew (6-7, 3.47). The Mets also have a bullpen which can be counted on for a few saves, with Tug McGraw (12 saves, 2.24 ERA) and Ron Taylor (13 saves, 2.72 ERA).
Hitting wise, the ’69 Mets do not measure up to the hitting the ’53 Dodgers and ’27 Pirates bring to the table. So while the ’06 Cubs are the only team which can out-pitch the Mets, the Mets will have to worry about being out-hit by the Dodgers and Pirates.
Tommie Agee (.271 BA, 26 HR) and Cleon Jones (.340 BA, 12 HR) are the 2 legitimate threats on this World Championship ball club. The rest of the lineup, at best, is adequate. At worst, it will be their down-fall. It is a lineup without a traditional lead-off type hitter. Agee took on the role, even though he is the Mets best power hitter. The Mets will need to hope for above expected output from players like Ed Kranepool (.238 BA, 11 HR), Donn Clendenon (.252 BA, 12 HR) and Art Shamsky (.300 BA, 14 HR). Shamsky will get more playing time with this lineup, thanks in part to the DH. Ken Boswell (.279 BA, .347 OBP), while a liability in the infield, will need to get on-base to add value in an everyday lineup. One of the biggest holes in the lineup is at a traditional power position, 3B, with Wayne Garrett (.218 BA). Bud Harrelson (.248 BA, 0 HR), while slick in the field, will be another liability in the otherwise weak lineup. Ron Swoboda and Rod Gaspar will see play in the OF, especially when facing LHP.
(Cleon Jones scampers out of the batter’s box)
Fielding wise, the ’69 Mets will not hurt themselves dramatically in the field. Harrelson (SS-9) highlights an average to sub-par Infield. Sub-par because Ken Boswell (2B-6) will be sharing time at 2ndbase with the light hitting, super-utility, Al Weis (2B-8). Kranepool (1B-4) and Garrett (3B-4) anchor the corners. Jerry Grote (C-8) and J.C. Martin (C-8) will help keep the infield rating at a Fielding-One with Weis at 2B and a P-2 on the mound, but a Fielding-Two with Boswell at 2B. Tommy Agee (OF-3) solidifies an otherwise average outfield.
(Tommy Agee’s 2 game saving catches, Game 3, 1969 World Series)
1969 New York Mets Schedule:
Games 1-2, (13-14, 25-26): ’06 Cubs at ’69 Mets
Games 3-4, (15-16, 27-28): ’69 Mets at ’27 Pirates
Games 5-6, (17-18, 29-30): ’69 Mets at ’53 Dodgers
Games 7-8, (19-20, 31-32): ’69 Mets at ’06 Cubs
Games 9-10, (21-22, 33-34): ’27 Pirates at ’69 Mets
Games 11-12, (23-24, 35-36): ’53 Dodgers at ’69 Mets
APBA BASEBALL CHALLENGE LEAGUE – SEASON 1:
(Up next, the 1927 Pittsburgh Pirates)