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Seven in Seven: Most Memorable Moments #4-Ron Swoboda’s Catch in Game Four of the 1969 World Series

January 7th, 2013 at 11:03 PM
By Kyle Brosnan

Just in time for the holiday season, Mets 101's Seven in Seven series returns as our gift to you. Each week, the Mets 101 staff will begin a countdown of topics related to the New York Mets (i.e. best third baseman, worst defeat, etc.). We will begin our countdowns with the number seven and work all the way to number one. This week's Seven in Sevenlist takes a look at the most memorable moments in the history of our beloved Mets. We will continue our countdown today with number four: Ron Swoboda’s catch in Game 4 of the 1969 World Series

4. Ron Swoboda’s Catch

Date: October 15, 1969 

The Buildup: The Mets entered the 1969 World Series heavy underdogs to the juggernaut Baltimore Orioles. The Orioles had stars at every position and were led by future hall of famers Frank and Brooks Robinson. Few game the Mets much of a shot in this one. The Mets dropped game one of the series in Baltimore by a score of 4-1. The Mets answered right back in game two behind a one-run, two-hit gem by Jerry Koosman en route to a 2-1 victory. The Mets had their split and were heading back to Shea Stadium. Home cooking was exactly what the doctor ordered as the Mets took it to Baltimore in game three, winning 5-0 and taking a 2-1 series lead. Cy Young winner Tom Seaver took the mound in game four looking to avenge his game one loss. The Mets struck first, scoring the first run in the second inning. That would be all the scoring until the top of the ninth. Frank Robinson and Boog Powell hit back-to-back one-out singles  to put runners on the corners. Brooks Robinson then came up to the plate.     

The Moment: Prior to the at-bat, manager Gil Hodges goes out to the mound to talk to Seaver. Seaver had been pitching a gem but was tiring as he entered the ninth inning. With runners on the corners, one out and one of the best hitters in baseball at the plate Hodges wanted to talk things over with his work horse. Hodges returns to the dugout and Seaver looks in at the right hand hitting Robinson.

Seaver sets and delivers from the stretch. Robinson swings at the first pitch and hits a sinking line drive in the right-center field gap. The ball has double written all over it. Swoboda moves to his right and dives for the ball. Sprawling to the ground in a heap, hat on the outfield grass, Swoboda comes up with the ball to save inning. He gets up and fires the ball into the infield. Frank Robinson tags from third and the game is tied. The Mets appeal at third, but Robinson stayed through the catch. The game is tied at one but Swoboda has saved the day.  

 

The Aftermath: The next batter, Elrod Hendricks, missed a home run by mere feet and the teams headed into extra innings. The Mets went on to win the game in the bottom of the tenth and took game five, 5-3 to win the 1969 World Series four games to one.  

Tags: Baseball, MLB, New York, New York Mets, Ron Swoboda

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