Jim McAndrew

Tania Savayan/The Journal News

Glad To Have MET Ya: McAndrew Was Clutch During 1969 Stretch Run

Joey Wahler
September 23, 2019 - 10:15 am

In 1968, pitcher Jim McAndrew joined the Mets from tiny Lost Nation, Iowa, among about a dozen boys in his high school senior class.

“It was definitely culture shock going from small town Iowa and the University of Iowa to the Big Apple," McAndrew said. "That’s all. Big, big change.”

Despite pitching great, McAndrew became the only pitcher ever whose team was shut out his first four major league starts. The righty’s first win for manager Gil Hodges came against Steve Carlton.

“Gil made a joke of it, I remember, when I won in St. Louis," McAndrew said. "I beat Carlton 1-0, and he just smiled at the reporters and said, ‘Well, he got his run and he knew what to do with it.'"

In late August of 1969, McAndrew’s three straight wins included back-to-back, complete game shutouts versus the Giants and Padres.

“I guess as I reflect on my career I was a good hot weather pitcher," McAndrew said. It came, usually July or August, for some reason or another, I have no clue why, I pitched well. You know, Cincinnati, Atlanta, St. Louis. Places that were hot and humid.”

On September 10th of ‘69, the Mets led their division for the first time ever after beating the Expos in 12 innings, McAndrew allowing two runs in 11 innings.

"Well," McAndrew said, laughing. "That was in the era where if you didn’t go seven, eight or nine innings you just weren’t doing your job.”

Pitching depth kept McAndrew off the Mets’ ’69 postseason roster, but he proudly wears his world championship ring.

“It’s one of those things where you always wanted to pitch," McAndrew said. "But when everybody else is shutting people out game, after game, after game, as a teammate you’re happy because you’re winning. And that was the name of the game.”