1969 player cards for Payoff Pitch Baseball. This set includes L/R splits on the player cards.
Professional baseball saw four teams added in its centennial year and the introduction of divisional play. The National League welcomed the Montreal Expos and San Diego Padres while the Seattle Pilots and Kansas City Royals joined the American League. With 12 teams in each league, divisions and a new round of playoffs were added. The League Championship series pitted the new East and West Division winners in a 5 game series to determine which team the American and National Leagues would send to the World Series.
American Leage MVP Harmon Killebrew rebounded from career lows in batting average (.210) and homeruns (17) in 1968 to put up numbers more in line with his career totals in 1969, a .276 batting average, a league leading 49 HR and 140 RBI. He helped lead the Twins to 97 victories and the American League West Division crown. In the AL East Division, the Baltimore Orioles boasted 109 wins with AL Cy Young Award winner Mike Cueller winning 23 games with a 2.38 ERA.
In the National League, the West Division was won by the Atlanta Braves (93 wins) who edged NL MVP Willie McCoveys San Francisco Giants (90 wins) and the Cincinnati Reds (89 wins). McCovey led the National League with 45 HR, 126 RBI, 45 intentional walks and a .453 OBP. In the NL East, the New York Mets won 100 games and were led by NL Cy Young Award Winner Tom Seaver (25-7, 2.21 ERA) and Jerry Koosman (17-9, 2.28 ERA).
Both the League Champion Series were 3-game sweeps as the Mets rolled over the Braves and the Orioles dispatched the Twins. The World Series was only slightly more contested with Baltimore taking the first game with a score of 4 to 1 and the New York Mets (who had never finished higher than 9th in the 10 team NL before this season) winning the next four games and the series.