There hasn’t been much cause for celebration this season in Cleveland, but the month turned in by Sam McDowell caught the attention of all American League fans. McDowell, the former Sports Illustrated cover boy, was named Pitcher of the Month in the American League for June, 1969. McDowell last won this honor four years ago in June, 1965. Sam hurled three shutouts during the month while posting a 1/47 ERA and striking out 48 in 49 innings. McDowell leads all of baseball with 138 strikeouts. His first shutout in June was at home against the Angels on the 8th. Sudden Sam struck out 12 Halos while issuing only one free pass. McDowell followed that permanence with a four-hit shutout against the powerful Minnesota Twins lineup in Bloomington on Friday the 13th.
In the National League, the New York Mets are gaining the attention of the country, and to the relief of Met fans 1968 Rookie Of the Year Jerry Koosman is a big reason for the club’s recent surge. Koosman missed a good portion of the May with an ailing shoulder that had nagged him all spring. The Mets finished June with an eye-popping 20-8 record, and the rejuvenated Koosman contributed to that success with a 5-0 record, 1.32 ERA in 47 2/3 innings of work. Koosman shut out the Padres in San Diego on the 7th, but his best performance for the month was at Shea Stadium on the 2nd against the Dodgers. Koosman scattered four hits, striking out 10 while walking none in a tight 2-1 victory. This is also Koosman’s second Pitcher of the Month award as he was so honored last May.