1969: Mays Powers Giants Past Padres

September 22, 1969, San Diego: Giants 4, Padres 2 (box score)

Endure the present, and watch for better things.

— Virgil (not Ozzie)

In the Padres’ case, they would have to watch for a very long time. Then again, Virgil had been dead for 2,000 years, so length is a relative concept.

The Giants scored first. In the third, Ron Hunt and Jim Ray Hart each notched RBI singles against San Diego’s Mike Corkins to take a 2-0 lead.

The Padres came back in the bottom half. With one out, Jose Arcia singled to center. After Roberto Pena struck out, Arcia stole second and then scored on an Ollie Brown single.

In the sixth, San Diego tied the game at 2-2. That sounds nice, but it should have been much nicer. Despite two doubles and a triple, the Padres managed to score only one run. Pena committed the cardinal sin of making the first out at third base when he tried to stretch his double.

The next inning, the Giants untied the game. Hunt led off with an infield single, bringing up rookie left fielder George Foster. San Francisco manager Clyde King pulled Foster back and sent 38-year-old Willie Mays to the plate. Mays promptly smacked his 13th homer of the season (and the 600th of his career — thanks to reader Jim Parish for the heads-up!) over the left-field fence to give his team a 4-2 lead it would not relinquish.

Don McMahon, who had replaced starter Ron Bryant to start the sixth, picked up the win. Corkins took the loss, falling to 1-3 on the season. Brown and Nate Colbert each had two hits and an RBI for the home team, which had lost its fourth straight and 106th game overall.

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4 Responses »

  1. It should be noted that that was Willie’s 600th career home run. (One of my favorite trivia questions is, “Who was Mays pinch-hitting for when he hit #600?” It seems that most fans have no idea Foster ever played for the Giants.)

  2. Thanks, Jim; I missed that about Mays. And I’ll admit that I’m one of those people who had no clue about Foster. When I saw “G Foster” in the box score, I thought, that can’t be George, can it? One of the pleasures of this series is that I literally learn something new every day.

  3. Yes, Foster was traded to the Reds for the light hitting Frank Duffy. Has to be one of the all time lopsided trades of all time.

  4. If we win the Division, great but I am focusing on the Pads simply getting a berth. The Phillies are forcing us to have to practically win everyday. The Pads could need to win 6 of their last 9 to get a spot, but I am predicting 5-4. That last 4 game series in Milwaukee may be a pressure cooker –it will be like a playoff series really. I hope a split there gets it done. 2-2 in Milwaukee, 2-1 in SF, 1-1 in remaining games w/Co. is my prediction which means Philly will have to go 6-2 just to tie (7-1 if we go 6-3) We are still in decent shape, with no collapse we should be o.k