The summer months of 1969 was stuffed with a number of firsts. I graduated higher university. (Significant offer.) Neal Armstrong took the 1st phase on the moon. That was a major offer. And the Chicago Cubs ended up in 1st place. Guaranteed you have to admit landing on the moon was a a lot more important occasion, but this was the Cubs. But to die hard Cubs followers staying in 1st place was just as significant. The Cubs experienced in no way been in 1st place in my lifetime time, but then once more at the time I was only seventeen many years aged. Not only ended up they in 1st place, all people and his brother ended up indicating we experienced the greatest group in baseball at the time.
Chicago was in frenzy–a Cub’s frenzy! They did not know how to act. Absolutely everyone was speaking about the Cubs. It a lot of moments was the lead story on WGN news. Individuals ended up having their radios to perform to hear to the activity. You have to keep in mind the Cubs played all their houses games in the afternoon. Vince Lloyd and Lou Boudreau ended up household names as ended up Jack Brickhouse and Lloyd Pettit. The games ended up generally in excess of by the time persons got home from perform so we would switch on the news for the highlights. This was pre-ESPN time. I was too youthful at the time but the neighborhood bars ended up all complete.
Likely to a activity intended you experienced to go early. The only presold tickets at the time ended up box seats. Grandstand and bleacher seats ended up sold on activity day only. It was the 1st time that I realized of there was one thing called standing place seating. Followers ended up hanging from the rafters.
I keep in mind there was a activity with the Mets just before the terrific collapse. It was raining. We ended up in the upper deck due to the fact that is all we could get. It retained raining and the followers ended up acquiring rowdy. The rain would end and they would take the tarp off. Then as quickly as they got it off it would get started raining once more. We waited and waited. You could explain to the players ended up frustrated. They would appear out and toss the ball close to just to keep loose. We waited all day. Absolutely everyone stuck close to and did not want to go away. They lastly experienced to phone the activity figuring out they would not get it in due to the fact it would get dim.
The period began out with a bang. Opening day added inning six-5 gain in excess of the Phillies highlighted by a stroll off homer by Willie Smith. The Cubs went on by winning 11 out of twelve to get started the period. They ended up in 1st place on the 4th of July. By mid August they experienced an eight ½ activity lead. Everything was heading as prepared. Each time they would gain at home Ron Santo would operate off the industry towards the club household down the still left industry line jumping up and clicking his heels.
Just when you imagined it could not get any greater, Ken Holtzman on August 19 threw a no hitter versus the Atlanta Braves. Billy Williams saved the no hitter by catching a ball strike by Hank Aaron in the perfectly versus the wall.
But then September arrived. The Cubs began the thirty day period in 1st place but experienced misplaced some of their luster. They misplaced 3 straight to the Pirates, the 1st two weren’t close. Then we misplaced the final in added innings soon after dropping the lead in the prime of the ninth.
They headed to New York for two games with the Mets. They would eliminate the two games to the Mets. It was also the time of the notorious black cat that strolled onto the industry that some say was the down slide of the group. In any circumstance they limped out of New York with only a ½ activity lead. They experienced now misplaced six in a row.
Future up was Philadelphia, a group that would eliminate 99 games that yr. But the Cubs could not gain there possibly and ended up seriously on the lookout exhausted. With all those two loses the Cubs fell out of 1st place for the 1st time that yr and the Mets ended up major the division. 1969 was also the 1st yr of division engage in. You could sense the air staying enable out of the balloon.
It did not get any greater the relaxation of September. In August we felt we experienced the division locked up. The Cubs only experienced to engage in five hundred ball in excess of the last fifty games to end out the period and they would gain the division. But as points turned out we concluded the period a very respectable ninety two-70. But we went 21-29 the last fifty and a dismal eight-seventeen in September. The incredible Mets concluded 39-11, eight ½ games in advance of the Cubs. That is an remarkable seventeen activity big difference from the mid of August.
There ended up a large amount of Monday morning quarterback debates that would go on for many years speaking about the 1969 period. Some say Durocher did not give the regulars enough relaxation as they just got exhausted playing all all those day games in warm humid Wrigley Industry. Some say it was the notorious curse of the billy goat. It would be 15 many years just before we would gain a division title, 1984. But that has a story of its very own.
1969 was as amazing yr until eventually September. The higher that we all lived with was in no way larger. That just intended the lower we felt when it all fell aside just that a lot worse. Some even called it a “Curse.