1969: Marichal Marches Giants Past Niekro, Padres

July 2, 1969, San Diego: Giants 6, Padres 3 (box score)

I hope that if nothing else, this look back at the Padres’ inaugural season has given everyone a greater appreciation for where the franchise is now. Honestly, if the club hadn’t been doing so well over the past few seasons, I’m not sure I could maintain my enthusiasm for this series. It’s tough to write about a team that loses two-thirds of its games and still has half a season remaining on the schedule.


The Giants scored two off Joe Niekro in the first on a most unusual sequence. With runners at first and second, no out, and one run in, Willie McCovey flied to center field. Ron Hunt scored from second, with Bobby Bonds being thrown out on play that went 8-5-4-3. If anyone saw this, I’d love to hear a description.

San Francisco extended its lead in the fourth. McCovey drew a one-out walk and Jim Ray Hart followed with his first home run of the season.

The Padres, after making some noise the previous inning, broke through against Juan Marichal in the fifth. Van Kelly, batting for Niekro, led off with a double to right. John Sipin followed with a single. After Roberto Pena grounded into a fielders choice that forced Kelly at home, Ollie Brown singled to left, plating Sipin and Pena. Nate Colbert flied to center for the second out, and then Al Ferrara doubled to the gap in left-center to bring home Brown and pull the Padres to within one run. This was as close as San Diego would come.

In the eighth, Hal Lanier doubled home two more runs against reliever Tommie Sisk to make the score 6-3. Sipin managed a two-out single off Marichal in the ninth, but Pena popped up to second to end the game. In front of nearly 7000 fans at San Diego Stadium, the Padres had lost their fifth straight.

Trivia: Hart, who had pounded 23 homers the previous season at age 26, hit just three in 1969. After averaging a tick under 28 home runs per season through his first five full seasons, Hart hit 31 total over his final six seasons.

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2 Responses »

  1. Hang in there. The ’69 Padres did have one moment of glory towards the end of the season.

  2. I’d love to see this pitching matchup in person.
    Wow, that’s a strange play to get Bonds.