Tuesday, May 20, 1969, Memorial Stadium, Baltimore, a battle against the eventual participants of the inaugural ALCS that fall, and the Twins’ Bob Allison congratulates Harmon Killebrew for going deep (#406 career), a solo shot off of the Orioles’ Dave McNally in the 4th inning to open the scoring, as catcher Andy Etchebarren looks on. Runs would be at a premium most of the night as the Orioles tied it 1-1 in the 7th when McNally was done, and then two things from the It-Would-Never-Happen-Today Dept.: Kaat went 12+ innings, allowing only one earned run, and after the Twins scored in the top of the 13th to go ahead 2-1, with men on first and third Kaat stayed in the game to bat, and hit a sac fly for another run. The run was needed as Paul Blair homered off Kaat in the bottom of the 13th to make it 3-2, but Kaat finally gave way to Perranoski for the save, giving Kaat the well-earned victory. The win would move the Twins to within a 1/2 game of the Oakland A’s, while the Orioles already had a 3 game lead in the East en route to 109 wins.
McNally got revenge by winning Game 2 of the ALCS against Minnesota to go up 2-0 in the series. While Twins owner Calvin Griffith directed manager Billy Martin to start future HOFer Jim Kaat at home for Game 3, a general distrust of Kaat (?) led Martin to go with long man Bob Miller, who got knocked around, as the Twins were swept and the O’s moved on to the World Series. Martin was then fired shortly after by Griffith after only one season at the helm, but with disagreements with ownership far from over in his managerial career.
3 thoughts on “A Moment In Time – 5/20/69”
Billy did a very good job as manager that year but as we know, Martin had the terrible vice of self-destructing and he did just that in 1969. Carew loved Billy. Kaat, I’m sure, had his reservations. “Kitty” has always been (and he is to this day) one of the nicest players in the history of the game – a true gentleman and (hopefully someday) very deserving of the Hall of Fame. Kaat still believes the 1965 AL champs were the best Twins team during his stint with the franchise (over the ‘ 69 & ‘ 70 AL West Division champs). Those Orioles were scary good!
Tom – Thanks so much for keeping the blog alive. It’s full of awesome baseball memories and beautiful photos. ’69 was a very memorable year, especially for Met fans!
I absolutely LOVED Shea Stadium in the early days. In 1964 & ’65 my Dad would take me to the NY World’s Fair in the daytime and then we’d walk over to Shea for a night game. My Father gave me the best childhood a kid could ask for.