Sports fans in New York will always remember the incredible events of 1969. It was the year that two of the city’s underdog teams would rise above all expectations to be crowned world champions.
On January 12, 1969, the underdog New York Jets faced the heavily-favored Baltimore Colts in Super Bowl III. Up to this point, no former AFL team had ever won a Super Bowl. Leading the Colts were future Hall of Fame coach Don Shula and quarterback Johnny Unitas (also a future Hall of Famer).The team looked unbeatable finishing the season with a 131 record.
But then, in historic fashion, “Broadway Joe” Namath, the quarterback of the Jets, made an incredible “guarantee” that the Jets would be victorious. And behind Namath’s strong arm they were, as he led his team to a 167 victory.
For a city that had not housed a championship team since the Dodgers in ’65, one championship was more than enough. But who would have expected that just seven months later, another New York team would rise to stardom?
The New York Mets completed their first season in 1962 and would go down in history with the worst record ever recorded at 40120 (a record still unbroken). They averaged over 100 losses in their first seven seasons and were seemingly permanent cellar dwellers of the National League. That was until the ’69 season, when the Metsled by Tom Seaver (a future Hall of Famer) and Jerry Koosmanwould complete an improbable run by not only leading their team to a winning record (which they’d never done before), but by defeating the Baltimore Orioles 4 games to 1 for their first World Series championship.
Miracle Year 1969 tells the story of how two teams defied almost insurmountable odds to win it all for a city that has always loved champions, underdogs, and its heroes.
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|Publisher:||Sports Publishing LLC|
|Product dimensions:||6.00(w) x 8.90(h) x 0.80(d)|
About the Author
Bill Gutman is a sportswriter and author. His books include Tales from the 1969–1970 New York Knicks, What if the Babe Had Kept His Red Sox? and Jeremy Lin.
Table of Contents
Part 1 The 1968 New York Jets
Chapter 1 The AFL, Broadway Joe, and a Coach Named Lombardi 3
Chapter 2 The Jets and Namath Get Ready for Battle 19
Chapter 3 Setting the Tone for the Season 35
Chapter 4 A Wild Finish and a Little Girl Named Heidi 51
Chapter 5 The AFL Championship Game… and More 67
Chapter 6 A Guarantee For the Ages 81
Jets: Through the Years 103
Looking Back 109
Part 2 The 1969 New York Mets
Chapter 7 Lovable Losers Fill a Void 117
Chapter 8 Gil and the Guys 129
Chapter 9 A Better than Usual Start 145
Chapter 10 Lightning in a Bottle 163
Chapter 11 A Division Title and a Pennant 181
Chapter 12 Here Comes Baltimore Again 195
Mets: Through the Years 217
Looking Back 225
Rating the Mets: 1969 vs. 2015 233