St. Petersburg Times Online: Business

Weather | Sports | Forums | Comics | Classifieds | Calendar | Movies

1969 World Series MVP Clendenon dies at 70

By wire services
Published September 18, 2005

SIOUX FALLS, S.D. - Donn Clendenon, the power-hitting first baseman who was the most valuable player in the New York Mets' 1969 World Series victory, died Saturday after a long fight with leukemia. He was 70.

Clendenon hit three home runs and had four RBIs in the Mets' five-game victory over the Orioles. He hit .274 with 159 home runs and 682 RBIs in 12 seasons in the major leagues.

"He was a true gentleman and an integral part of the 1969 team, ... and on behalf of the Wilpons and the entire Mets organization we send our condolences to his entire family," Mets spokesman Jay Horwitz said.

After retiring from baseball in 1972, Clendenon earned a law degree and moved to Sioux Falls in the summer of 1987. Clendenon joined the Mets midway through the 1969 season.

The Orioles were ahead 3-0 in Game 5 of the World Series when Mets manager Gil Hodges emerged from the dugout to argue that a ball thrown by Baltimore's Dave McNally hit Mets outfielder Cleon Jones in the foot.

Hodges grabbed the shoe-polish smudged ball and proved that Jones was indeed struck, setting the stage for Clendenon. The first baseman stepped to the plate and hit a two-run homer, and the Mets eventually went on to win 5-3.

JOHNSON APOLOGIZES: Randy Johnson apologized and said he was wrong, a day after being ejected in the second inning for arguing with umpire Fieldin Culbreth.

"I'm deeply regretful. I put my ballclub in a bind," Johnson said Saturday. "I pitch with emotion, but I let it get the best of me."

After watching the game in the clubhouse, he congratulated his teammates and "left to think about what I would say today," he said.

Johnson said he might address his teammates.

"I was wrong," he said. "I was wrong for letting my emotions get away from me."

MINORS: Indians minor league pitcher Jason Stanford was arrested and charged with disorderly conduct and resisting arrest, police said, but had no other information.

© Copyright, St. Petersburg Times. All rights reserved.