The Mets had a season to remember in 1969. After seven years of sub-par play, the team won 100 games raced to the top of the newly-formed National League East Division. The Mets finished eight games ahead of the second place Chicago Cubs to conquer their first title in Major League Baseball’s first year under a divisional alignment. The “miracle’’ season ended with the Mets winning the World Championship.
For the Mets, the ’69 season started the same way as their previous seven – with a loss on Opening Day. At Shea Stadium on April 8, they suffered an 11-10 defeat to the Expos in the new Montreal team’s first game ever. The Mets lost four of six games on the season-starting home stand and followed with a 3-3 record on an ensuing road trip. At Montreal on April 29 and April 30, the Mets came out with 2-0 and 2-1 wins over the Expos in their first games ever outside the United States. The team ended the month with nine wins and eleven losses.
The Mets broke even in May. They had a 12-12 won-lost record and wound up in third place in the Eastern Division at the end of the month. The team broke a three-game losing streak with a pair of 3-2 victories in a doubleheader at Chicago on May 4. At Shea on May 10 and May 11, they took two of three games against the Astros for their only wins over the Houston team during the year. The Mets scored eight runs in the eighth inning to defeat the Braves, 9-3, on May 14 at Shea. At Cincinnati three days later, the got fourteen hits in an 11-3 win over the Reds. The team won its final three games of the month, starting with a 1-0 triumph over the Padres in 11 innings at Shea on May 28.
The Mets had a big breakthrough in June. The team went 19-9 for their best monthly winning percentage (.679) to date. To start the month, the Mets extended their winning streak to a club-record 11 games. They went over the .500 mark for the season with a 5-2 win over the Dodgers at Shea on June 3. They swept consecutive doubleheaders at Shea with 5-1 and 1-0 wins over the Cardinals on June 22 and triumphs over the Phillies by 2-1 and 5-0 scores on June 24. On a complete game by Tom Seaver at Shea on June 29, the Mets stopped a four-game skid with a 7-3 win over the Pirates. The team stood in second place with a 40-32 won-lost record at the end of the month.
The Mets played the role of a pennant contender for the first time in July. They found themselves in a rivalry with the first-place Cubs during the month. The team was on a five-game winning streak when the Chicago group came to Shea on July 8. In the Tuesday afternoon game, the Mets scored three runs in the ninth inning to pull out a 4-3 win. Seaver shut down the Cubs with eight and one-third perfect innings before ending with a one-hitter and a 4-0 Mets victory the following night. The Mets won consecutive games against the Cubs at Wrigley Field (5-4 and 9-5) on July 15 and July 16. They went into the All-Star Break five games behind Chicago. The Mets closed out July with four straight losses and a 55-44 season record.
In August, the Mets showed they were a team to be taken seriously. They still established themselves as a genuine contender despite falling on hard times. The Mets started the month by sweeping the Braves in a three-game series at Shea. The team followed up with a road trip in which it won only four of eleven games. In the final game of the trip, the Mets suffered an 8-2 loss at Houston that dropped them into third place in the Eastern Division. They responded to this disastrous period with nine wins in a ten-game home stand. On a west coast swing, the Mets won all three games of a series at San Diego and won two of four at San Francisco. The team finished with a 21-10 record for the month and four and one-half games out of first place.
The Mets took the world by storm in September. They set a new all-time high for wins in any specific month with 23 and became the N. L. East Division’s first champion. After finishing their western trip in Los Angeles, the team split a doubleheader with the Phillies on September 5 at Shea. Seaver became the Mets’ first ever 20-game winner in a 5-1 victory in the opener of the twinbill. Following the split, the Mets proceeded to win their next ten games and jump into first place. At St. Louis on September 15, they came up with a 4-3 win despite 19 strikeouts by the Cardinals’ Steve Carlton. The Mets swept a doubleheader at Shea with 5-3 and 6-1 victories over the Pirates on September 21. The team clinched the division title with a 6-0 win over the Cards at Shea on September 24. The team then closed out the month with three consecutive shutout wins at Philadelphia.
The Mets ended the regular season with a pair of games at Chicago. On October 1, they emerged with a 6-5 victory over the Cubs in 12 innings for their 100th win of the year. The team moved on to the first National League Championship Series against the Braves. The Mets took the best-of-five series with 9-5, 11-6 and 7-4 wins over the Atlanta team between October 4 and October 6. In the opening game of the World Series on October 11, the Mets dropped a 4-1 decision at Baltimore. They came back to defeat the Orioles, 2-1, the next day. The Mets then won three consecutive games at Shea, downing the Birds by scores of 5-0, 2-1 (in 10 innings) and 5-3 to become World Champions. Donn Clendenon, who hit .357 with three home runs against Baltimore pitching, was named the MVP of the Series.
- Gil Hodges was named National League Manager of the Year.
- Seaver won the National League Cy Young Award and was named Sportsman of the Year by Sports Illustrated magazine.