METS FANS SHARE THEIR MEMORIES OF THE SEPTEMBER 9, 1969 GAME:
August 13, 2003
Bill is wrong. This was the Black Cat, Goodbye Leo Game. Sorry, Bill, but the Mets got out to a big lead pretty early in the game, which emboldened Mets fans to serenade Leo for the last few innings. That never would have happened in a 1-run game as you describe. Get your facts straight instead of letting your teary memories of 69 get the best of you. It was also the last game of the Cubs series and the last time the Cubs ended a game in first place.
It was awesome (I was there with my dad and three brothers). For the last 3 or 4 innings, everyone was waving handkerchiefs and throwing confetti. My brother ripped up a medical book that a neighboring med student had stowed under his chair and my dad had to make good to the guy to the tune of $30.
August 13, 2003
Friday the 13th fits squarely into the realm of sports superstitions, curses, and all things unlucky. On Sept. 9, 1969, the Cubs faced the Mets at Shea Stadium. Six days earlier, Chicago had been five games up on New York in the National League pennant race. But by the 9th, the lead was down to 1 1/2 games. As the day's leadoff batter, Don Kessinger, stepped into the box against Mets ace Tom Seaver, a black cat scooted out from under the stands, and took good long glares at Kessinger and Cubs third baseman Ron Santo, awaiting his turn on the on-deck circle.
Then the cat ambled over to the visitors' dugout, headed for Leo Durocher, raised its tail, and hissed at the manager.
"I knew right away we were in trouble," said Santo. "I wanted to run and hide."
Seaver pitched the Mets to a 7-1 win that day, giving the Mets a two-game series sweep and reducing the Cubs' lead to a half-game. Chicago ended the season in second place, eight games behind New York.
July 5, 2005
As a 9 year old at this game my memories of the game itself are not clear. I do remember my dad getting my attention to point out the black cat in front of the Cubs dugout. I remember shredding up The Daily News to make confetti, which was flying all over the stadium! The chorus's of "Good-Bye Leo" started while the game was still in progress, and continued as we were exiting down the ramps. I vaguely remember chants of "We're number 1", although we weren't in first place yet. For a 9 year old kid it was a summer to remember, first men walking on the moon and the Mets winning the World Series!
May 5, 2009
I was ten, going to the game with my uncle and grandfather to meet my dad at the game. To this day I have no idea where we parked. I remember them running out of programs, the goodbye Leo serenade, and the black cat. Our seats were in the left field corner, so when Seaver hit his double we weren't sure that it wasn't a home run.
A great game, a great year.