1969: Padres Complete Four-Game Sweep of Dodgers

September 7, 1969, San Diego: Padres 4, Dodgers 2 (box score)

When the Dodgers arrived in San Diego on Thursday, they were 74-59, 1 game out of first place in the National League West. When they left, their record had fallen to 74-63 and the team from Los Angeles found itself in fourth place, 2 1/2 back of the front-running Giants. The Padres, meanwhile, had pushed themselves ahead of the Expos, who took over as the team with the worst record in baseball.

“How did it all go down?” you may ask. Go ahead, ask. Okay, if you insist, I will tell you.

The Dodgers jumped out to an early lead against Al Santorini. In the second inning, with Andy Kosco on first base and two out, Ted Sizemore lined a double to right, scoring Kosco and putting the visitors on top, 1-0.

The Padres, though, didn’t stay down for long. In the bottom of the second, Nate Colbert and Ed Spiezio singled off Claude Osteen to get things started. One out later, Chris Cannizzaro singled to center, tying the score at 1-1.

San Diego threatened again in the third but couldn’t score, and the game remained tied into the seventh. Then, in the Dodgers half, Bill Sudakis homered to right, putting Los Angeles up, 2-1.

As had been the case in the second, the Padres came right back. Leadoff hitter Jose Arcia started the seventh with a walk. Roberto Pena then doubled to center, scoring Arcia and retying the game.

After Ollie Brown popped to short for the first out, Al Ferrara was intentionally walked. Nate Colbert then struck out, and the situation was looking brighter for Osteen.

But even the best laid plans often go awry, and Spiezio followed with a single that scored Tommy Dean (who was running for Pena). The next batter, Cito Gaston, also singled to bring home Jerry Morales (running for Ferrara) and make the score 4-2. Joe Moeller finally came in to relieve Osteen and retired Cannizzaro to end the inning, but the damage had been done.

The Dodgers put two runners on in the eighth, and two more on in the ninth, but relievers Gary Ross and Billy McCool extinguished both fires to preserve the victory. In a most unlikely scenario, the Padres had completed a four-game sweep of their neighbors to the north and provided the hometown fans with a rare opportunity to cheer.

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2 Responses »

  1. The following morning, there was a big (quarter-page, maybe?) cartoon on the front page of the sports section. Standing at the top of the steps at the mission was a friar, hands clasped in prayer; stumbling down the steps was a hulking brute in Dodger togs, dragging a bat behind him. Caption: “‘Go in peace, my son.’ ‘Hallelujah, I’m a bum again.’” Nearly forty years later, that cartoon is still vivid in my mind.

  2. Awesome! Thanks, Jim, for “the rest of the story”…