October 14, 1969: Game Three of World Series
|Date: October 14, 1969|
|Mets starter: Gary Gentry|
|Winning pitcher: Gary Gentry|
|Key player(s): Tommie Agee, Gary Gentry|
|Key play: Agee's two catches, Gentry's 2-run double|
The Mets and Orioles faced each other in the third game of the World Series on a Tuesday afternoon. A crowd of 56,335 was on hand for the first Fall Classic game ever played at Shea Stadium. A pair of sensational catches by Tommie Agee highlighted a 5-0 Mets win over Baltimore.
Mets’ starter Gary Gentry pitched a scoreless top of the first inning. Agee led off the bottom half with a home run to center field. Orioles’ starter Jim Palmer retired the next three batters and Gentry retired the side in order in the top of the second. With two outs in the bottom of the inning, Jerry Grote drew a walk and Bud Harrelson singled. Gentry hit a double to drive home Grote and Harrelson for a 3-0 Mets lead. Palmer then retired Agee on an inning-ending ground ball to third baseman Brooks Robinson.
Following a scoreless third, Gentry threw a called third strike past Paul Blair to open the top of the fourth. Frank Robinson singled and advanced to third base on an ensuing single by Boog Powell. Brooks Robinson went down on strikes for the second out of the inning. Elrod Hendricks hit a fly ball on which center fielder Agee made an outstanding running catch at the wall to finish off the inning. Palmer then shut down the Mets in the bottom half.
Gentry and Palmer each hurled a scoreless fifth inning. Gary shut down the Birds again in the top of the sixth and Ken Boswell began the bottom half with an infield single. Ed Kranepool grounded out to second baseman Davey Johnson to move Boswell to second. An ensuing double by Jerry Grote plated Boswell with the Mets’ fourth run of the game. Harrelson looked at a called third strike for the second out. Palmer then fanned Gentry to end the inning.
Hendricks and Johnson both flied out to Agee to start the top of the seventh. Mark Belanger drew a walk and pinch-hitter Dave May followed with another base on balls. Gentry issued a walk to Don Buford to load the bases. Against Mets’ reliever Nolan Ryan, Blair hit a ball to right-center field on which Agee made a diving catch for the third out of the inning. Baltimore reliever Dave Leonhard then pitched a scoreless bottom half.
Ryan set down the Orioles 1-2-3 in the top of the eighth inning. With one out in the bottom half, Kranepool homered to extend the Mets’ lead to five runs. Leonhard set down the next two batters to close out the inning and Ryan started the top of the ninth by retiring Hendricks and Johnson on fly balls to right fielder Rod Gaspar. Belanger drew a walk and pinch-hitter Clay Dalrymple got an infield single. Buford walked to load the bases. Ryan then threw a called third strike past Blair to end the game. The Mets had a two-games-to-one Series lead.
- Art Shamsky made his only appearance in a World Series starting lineup in this game on his 28th birthday.
- Ryan's relief work earned him a save in what would be the only World Series game of his long, legendary career.