1969 American League Championship Series
|Dates:||October 4 – 6|
|TV announcers:|| Curt Gowdy and Tony Kubek (Game 1)|
Jim Simpson and Sandy Koufax (Game 3)
NBC did not televise Game 2 due to conflicts with its NFL coverage.
|Umpires:||Nestor Chylak, Ed Runge, Frank Umont, Bob Stewart, Johnny Rice, Red Flaherty|
|1969 World Series|
The 1969 American League Championship Series was the first ALCS held after Major League Baseball adopted the two-division format that season. It featured the Baltimore Orioles vs. the Minnesota Twins, with the Orioles winning the series 3–0 and advancing to the 1969 World Series, where they would lose to the New York Mets in five games. The Orioles and Twins would meet again the following year, with similar results.
This was the first of three straight appearances in the ALCS for the Orioles.
Minnesota Twins vs. Baltimore Orioles
Baltimore won the series, 3–0.
|1||October 4||Minnesota Twins – 3, Baltimore Orioles – 4 (12 innings)||Memorial Stadium||3:29||39,324|
|2||October 5||Minnesota Twins – 0, Baltimore Orioles – 1 (11 innings)||Memorial Stadium||3:17||41,704|
|3||October 6||Baltimore Orioles – 11, Minnesota Twins – 2||Metropolitan Stadium||2:48||32,735|
| WP: Dick Hall (1–0) LP: Ron Perranoski (0–1)|
MIN: Tony Oliva (1)
BAL: Frank Robinson (1), Mark Belanger (1), Boog Powell (1)
In the opener, 20-game winner Jim Perry held a 3–2 lead over the Orioles entering the ninth inning, Boog Powell tied the score with a smash over the right-field fence. Reliever Ron Perranoski, who worked in all three games, shut off Baltimore's offense at that point. Then, with two down in the 12th and Mark Belanger on third, Paul Blair stepped to the plate. Acting on his own, he bunted toward third. Neither third sacker Harmon Killebrew nor catcher John Roseboro could make the play as Belanger sped across the plate with the winning run. Dick Hall, who pitched two-thirds of an inning, was the winner. Perranoski didn't allow a ball to leave the infield in the 12th, but was the loser nonetheless.
|WP: Dave McNally (1–0) LP: Dave Boswell (0–1)|
Winner of 15 games in a row during the season, McNally was saddled with a "lucky" tag because Baltimore frequently rallied to win after McNally had left on the short end of the score. He won the second game of the playoffs on his own exceptional pitching and Curt Motton's 11th inning pinch-hit single. It scored Powell from second base with the only run of the game. McNally's victim was Dave Boswell, who was a mighty tough opponent. McNally yielded only three hits, none after the fourth inning.
| WP: Jim Palmer (1–0) LP: Bob Miller (0–1)|
BAL: Paul Blair (1)
The Orioles easily won this game and advanced to the World Series. Paul Blair, the swift center fielder who enjoyed a banner season, whacked five hits and drove in five runs. Left fielder Don Buford contributed four hits after going 0-for-9 in the first two games. Oriole Manager Earl Weaver employed simple strategy to deal with Minnesota's Harmon Killebrew, AL MVP winner that year: Walk him in any dangerous situation. The killer got nothing good to swing at until Game 3 was on ice. Baltimore pitchers walked him five times in the first two games and pitched to him only when he could not wreck them with one swing.
Rod Carew and Tony Oliva were the Twins' other top hitters during 1969. Carew, AL batting champ, was a dud in the playoffs, going 1-for-14. Oliva hit safely in each of the three games, including a homer in the opener, but was guilty of some shoddy fielding in the third game.
This Monday game at Metropolitan Stadium forced the NFL's Minnesota Vikings to play their game against division rival Green Bay the previous day at the University of Minnesota's Memorial Stadium in Minneapolis. It was the first NFL game ever played in a Big Ten stadium. That same day, because the Atlanta Braves were hosting Game 2 of the NLCS, the Atlanta Falcons had to move their home game against the Baltimore Colts from Atlanta Stadium to Grant Field on the campus of Georgia Tech.
|Total attendance: 113,763 Average attendance: 37,921|
- "1969 ALCS Game 1 – Minnesota Twins vs. Baltimore Orioles". Retrosheet. Retrieved September 13, 2009.
- "1969 ALCS Game 2 – Minnesota Twins vs. Baltimore Orioles". Retrosheet. Retrieved September 13, 2009.
- "1969 ALCS Game 3 – Baltimore Orioles vs. Minnesota Twins". Retrosheet. Retrieved September 13, 2009.