1970 Junior World Series

From BR Bullpen

The 1970 Junior World Series was the 47th meeting between the champions of the American Association and International League, and the first since the AA reformation in 1969. Both the Omaha Royals and Syracuse Chiefs won their leagues for the second straight year.

Like the 1962 Series, rain played havoc with the schedule, forcing the series to begin in Syracuse because of rains in Omaha. The Series was set to begin on September 13 in Omaha's Rosenblatt Stadium. However, the field was left uncovered for some reason, leaving it unsuitable for play even after the rains cleared. Additionally, fewer than 200 tickets had been sold for the games in Omaha. All games were played at MacArthur Stadium in Syracuse, although there were plans to finish the series in Omaha had the Royals forced a sixth game. The Royals batted as the home team for game five.

In game one, Rob Gardner won his 19th game of the year, holding Omaha to one hit, a 5th-inning double by Luis Alcaraz. Mike Hedlund had battled Gardner evenly through four, but Syracuse broke through with a Matt Galante squeeze bunt and a Hedlund run-scoring wild pitch.

Omaha scored in the first off Al Closter in game two but he shut them down the rest of the way. In the 6th, two 2-base errors by OF Ted Parks led to 3 unearned runs as Syracuse went on to a 5-1 victory.

In game three, Omaha's bats woke up, knocking out starter Thad Tillotson in the third inning. Syracuse scored five in the 4th, though, to take the lead - solo homers by Tony Solaita and Bill Robinson were helpful. Omaha's bullpen did its job from there on out and their hitters came through some more, with 4 runs in the 8th (2 on a triple by Charles Day) leading to a 11-5 win to pull them within a game.

When it was announced that the next two games would also be in Syracuse, Omaha Mayor Eugene Leahy protested to the National Association.

Despite heavy rain on September 18, game four was held, with a late start at 9:16 PM. Syracuse took a 3-1 Series lead with a 6-5 win, with a George Pena double in the 8th driving home the winning score.

In the fifth game, Omaha scored twice in the first against wild Chiefs starter Gary Jones (2 wild pitches, hit batsmen). Jones recovered to blank Omaha for the next six frames. In the meantime, Syracuse rallied on solo homers by Bobby Mitchell in the 3rd, Bobby Cox in the 5th and Robinson in the 8th for a 3-2 edge.

Omaha rallied in the bottom of the 9th when Alcaraz doubled in the game-tying score. In the top of the 11th, Cox drew a walk from Paul Splittorff then scored on a Pena triple. Winning pitcher Hal Reniff hit a sacrifice fly for insurance as Syracuse won 5-3 to lock up the Series.

Robinson was 8 for 17 with 16 total bases in the Series.

Syracuse vs. Omaha
Date Away Home
September 15 Omaha 0 Syracuse 2
September 16 Omaha 1 Syracuse 5
September 17 Omaha 11 Syracuse 5
September 18 Omaha 5 Syracuse 6
September 19 Syracuse 5 Omaha 3
11 innings
Syracuse wins series 4-1


  • The Encyclopedia of Minor League Baseball. Lloyd Johnson and Miles Wolff, editors. Baseball America, 1993.
  • 1971 Baseball Guide