Manager: Gil Hodges
Call it simply the rise of mediocrity in 1969. The New York Mets were simply too "Amazing" to believe.
1969 was a year of changes for professional baseball. Montreal and San Diego joined the National League while Seattle and Kansas City became part of the American League. As a result of the four new teams, the NL and the AL went back to playing two divisions. Across New York, Yankees fans had found out prior to the season to Mickey Mantle was retiring.
The Mets had entered the National League in 1962. Since that first season, New York had finished no higher than ninth in the NL.
Managed by Gil Hodges, the Mets had high hopes as they entered the season. Fans, however, might have been thinking these were the same Mets they had always known after New York lost to the expansion Expos in the season opener. However, by the All-Star break, the Mets had pulled into second place in the division, trailing only the Chicago Cubs.
After the break, the Mets continued to fight for first place, but found themselves backsliding in late August and 9.5 games out of first. But, the Mets rallied and, on Sept. 10, they swept the Cubs to pull into first place.
The 1969 Mets were driven by one thing -- pitching. As a team, New York finished the season with a 2.99 ERA. Staff ace Tom Seaver posted a 25-7 record and a 2.21 ERA. Jerry Klosman finished with a 17-9 record and a 2.28 ERA. The team's pitching performance also include a 6-3 record in a short season for Nolan Ryan and a 9-3 record and 12 saves for Tug McGraw.
On offense, the Mets were led by Tommie Agee's 26 HR and 76 RBI. Cleon Jones added 12 HR and 75 RBI. Jones also led the Mets in stolen bases with 16.
To get to the World Series, the Mets pulled off a sweep of an Braves team led by Hank Aaron and Phil Niekro. In the World Series, Baltimore won the opener, but the Mets won the next four to capture the championship.
One of the most dramatic moments in the series came in Game 3. Tommie Agee led off the bottom of the first inning with a home run off Jim Palmer. In the fourth inning, Agee made a miraculous catch with two men on and two outs. In the seventh inning, he made another incredible catch with two outs. Many credit Agee with saving 5 runs in game.