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2019 and 1969 Division Races

Posted by sethmoko , 03 September 2019 · 934 views

2019 is the 50th anniversary of the moon landing and some things that were more of a giant leap for mankind, like the Minnesota Twins winning the first ever American League West Division title. Major League Baseball had just split into divisions so there would be an additional round to the postseason for the first time since the introduction of the World Series.

All summer long, the Twins were in a tight battle with the Oakland A's for the first ever AL West title. After play on September 2, 1969 the Twins held a lead of 6 games over the A's. Coincidentally, in 2019 the Twins hold a 5.5 game lead over Cleveland on September 2 after an up and down (mostly up to be honest) summer. But as Labor Day passes, baseball races get much more serious and numbers up and down become a daily watch if they haven't been before.

This week is a big week for the 2019 Twins with three games in Boston before coming home to Target Field for 3 games this weekend against Cleveland. A big series against Cleveland could go a long way toward putting away the 2019 AL Central Division.

Something very similar happened in 1969. As I said, on September 2, 1969 the Twins led Oakland by 6. On September 3, the Twins beat Cleveland at home while Oakland lost in Boston. This stretched the lead to 7 before a four-game series which saw the Twins visiting Oakland over the weekend. And what happened? On Thursday, the Twins won 10-5 in 10 innings, then lost game 2 5-4. On Saturday, in what could be described as the "nail in the coffin" game, the Twins prevailed in an 18 inning affair by a score of 8-6. Minnesota closed out the 3-1 series victory on Sunday with a 16-4 pounding. That series win essentially ended the 1969 AL West race in much the same way a series win this weekend could change the way we all think about the 2019 Central race. The 1969 team closed out the season by winning 97 games and leading Oakland by 9.

One element that will DEFINITELY not be repeated: the 1969 Twins were swept in the inaugural ALCS by the Baltimore Orioles. I have no predictions about a possible postseason result for the 2019 Twins, but I guarantee they will not get swept by the Baltimore Orioles.

  • Oldgoat_MN, Wizard11 and jkcarew like this

The 1969 Twins are my favorite Twins team.I was a 6th grader.As good as the Twins were, that 1969 Orioles team was LOADED.The Twins were swept in the League Championship Series in both 1969 and 1970 by Baltimore and nearly every game was a close---one run type of game.I was disappointed to see the Twins scrapped those wonderful 1969-era pinstriped jerseys prior to this season.Sharpest looking uniform the Twins ever had.