In this week’s Throwback Thursday segment, we travel to October 6, 1969 and Game 3 of the National League Championship Series.
Sarasota High graduate Wayne Garrett, a left-handed batting rookie third baseman with the New York Mets, came to bat in the bottom of the fifth inning at Shea Stadium with reliever Nolan Ryan at first base and his team facing a 4-3 deficit. Garrett would belt a pitch from Atlanta right-hander Pat Jarvis over the right field wall to give his team a lead it would never relinquish as New York finished a 3-0 series sweep over the Braves that day with a 7-4 victory.
In the three-game National League Championship Series 47 years ago, Garrett batted .385 with five hits, including a pair of doubles, three RBI and three runs scored. Game 3 of the 1969 NLCS was the final postseason game for the legendary Hank Aaron.
Garrett was drafted by the Braves in the sixth round of the June 1965 draft as a 17-year-old. The Mets plucked him from the Braves in the December 1968 Rule 5 Draft for minor-league players.
In the 1969 World Series, which the Mets won in the five games over the Baltimore Orioles, Garrett only appeared in two contests. He went to the plate four times – walking twice, sacrificing a runner over and striking out.
Garrett and the Mets would win another pennant and return to the World Series four years later, falling to Oakland four games to three in the Fall Classic. In 50 postseason at-bats in 1973, Garrett collected just seven hits and struck out 16 times. He did hit two home runs in the World Series, but his 11 strikeouts tied a World Series record set by Eddie Matthews 15 years earlier.
On July 21, 1976, Garrett was traded by New York to the Montreal Expos. His contract would be purchased by the St. Louis Cardinals exactly two years later. After concluding the 1978 season with St. Louis, Garrett played for the Chunichi Dragons in Japan for two years.