1973 New York Mets season

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1973 New York Mets
1973 NL Pennant
Major League affiliations
Location
  • New York (since 1962)
Results
Record 82-79 (.509)
Divisional place 1st
Other information
Owner(s) Joan Whitney Payson
General manager(s) Bob Scheffing
Manager(s) Yogi Berra
Local television WOR-TV
Local radio WHN
(Ralph Kiner, Lindsey Nelson, Bob Murphy)
Previous season     Next season

The 1973 New York Mets season was the 12th regular season for the Mets, who played home games at Shea Stadium. Manager Yogi Berra led the team to a National League East title with an 82–79 record, the National League pennant and a defeat at the hands of the Oakland Athletics in the World Series. Their .509 winning percentage is the lowest of any pennant-winner in major league history as of 2011. The season was well known for pitcher Tug McGraw's catchphrase "You Gotta Believe!!!"

Offseason[edit]

Regular season[edit]

Season highlights[edit]

It began with turmoil[edit]

The 1973 Mets were much improved from their "miracle" 1969 team. They had a group of young proven stars—including Jon Matlack, Rusty Staub, John Milner, and Félix Millán—mixed in with veterans from the 1969 club, such as Jerry Grote, Cleon Jones, Wayne Garrett, and Bud Harrelson. Their pitching staff, led by Tom Seaver, was among the finest in baseball. But injuries hampered the Mets throughout the entire season.

The Mets got off to a 4-0 start to the season, and were still at first place by April 29 with a 12-8 record. But then, injuries to their key players caused turmoil. By July 26, the Mets were in last place, yet still only 7 12 games behind. On August 16, they were 12 games below .500, with 44 games to play.

At the end of August, the Mets were in fifth place, nine games under .500,[3] but, in the balanced mediocrity of that year's Eastern Division, just 5 12 games out of first. The mathematical inequities of divisional play were beginning to show up. On September 11, the Mets were in fourth place, five games under .500, but just three games out. Ahead of them were the St. Louis Cardinals, Pittsburgh Pirates, and Montreal Expos.

"You Gotta Believe!!!"[edit]

With Tug McGraw urging his teammates on and celebrating victories with what soon became the catch phrase of 1973, "You Gotta Believe!!!" the Mets kept zigging and zagging away from would-be tacklers, and taking an occasional side-swipe, headed for this most unlikely of pennants. Down the stretch, Yogi Berra, veteran of many a pennant race, ran four starters at the league: Tom Seaver, Jerry Koosman, Jon Matlack, and George Stone, with the suddenly unhittable McGraw coming out of the pen with boisterous-and justified-confidence. (For his last 19 games, the screwball-throwing lefty showed 12 saves, 5 wins, and an ERA of 0.88).

The unexpected clincher[edit]

After sweeping a three-game series from the Pirates at Shea on September 21, the Mets' record stood at an even 77-77, but that .500 record was good enough for first place and a half-game lead. Illustrating just how dense the crowd was at the top, fifth-place Chicago was just 2 12 out. The Mets won five of their last seven to finish as National League East Division Champions. The Cardinals finished second, 1 12 games behind, Pittsburgh next at 2 12, Montreal third at 3 12, and Chicago fifth, 5 games out.

This was the only NL East title between 1970 and 1980 not to be won by either Philadelphia Phillies or the Pittsburgh Pirates.[4][5]

Season standings[edit]

NL East W L GB Pct.
New York Mets 82 79 -- .509
St. Louis Cardinals 81 81 1.5 .500
Pittsburgh Pirates 80 82 2.5 .494
Montreal Expos 79 83 3.5 .488
Chicago Cubs 77 84 5 .478
Philadelphia Phillies 71 91 11.5 .438


Opening Day starters[edit]

Notable transactions[edit]

Roster[edit]

1973 New York Mets
Roster
Pitchers Catchers

Infielders

Outfielders

Other batters

Manager

Coaches

Player stats[edit]

Batting[edit]

Starters by position[edit]

Note: Pos = Position; G = Games played; AB = At bats; H = Hits; Avg. = Batting average; HR = Home runs; RBI = Runs batted in

Pos Player G AB H Avg. HR RBI
2B Millán, FélixFélix Millán 153 638 185 .290 3 37

Other batters[edit]

Note: G = Games played; AB = At bats; H = Hits; Avg. = Batting average; HR = Home runs; RBI = Runs batted in

Player G AB H Avg. HR RBI
Dyer, DuffyDuffy Dyer 70 189 35 .185 1 9

Pitching[edit]

Starting pitchers[edit]

Note: G = Games pitched; IP = Innings pitched; W = Wins; L = Losses; ERA = Earned run average; SO = Strikeouts

Player G IP W L ERA SO

Other pitchers[edit]

Note: G = Games pitched; IP = Innings pitched; W = Wins; L = Losses; ERA = Earned run average; SO = Strikeouts

Player G IP W L ERA SO

Relief pitchers[edit]

Note: G = Games pitched; W = Wins; L = Losses; SV = Saves; ERA = Earned run average; SO = Strikeouts

Player G W L SV ERA SO
Apodaca, BobBob Apodaca 1 0 0 0 0

Postseason[edit]

NLCS[edit]

Game 1[edit]

October 6: Riverfront Stadium, Cincinnati

Team 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
New York 0 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 3 0
Cincinnati 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 1 2 6 0
W: Pedro Borbón (1-0)   L: Tom Seaver (0-1)   S: None
HR: NYM – None  CINPete Rose (1), Johnny Bench (1)
Pitchers: NYM – Seaver  CIN – Billingham, Hall (9), Borbón (9)
Attendance: 53,431

Game 2[edit]

October 7: Riverfront Stadium, Cincinnati

Team 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
New York 0 0 0 1 0 0 0 0 4 5 7 0
Cincinnati 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 2 0
W: Jon Matlack (1-0)   L: Don Gullett (0-1)   S: None
HR: NYMRusty Staub (1)  CIN – None
Pitchers: NYM – Matlack  CIN – Gullett, Carroll (6), Hall (9), Borbón (9)
Attendance: 54,041

Game 3[edit]

October 8: Shea Stadium, New York City, New York

Team 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
Cincinnati 0 0 2 0 0 0 0 0 0 2 8 1
New York 1 5 1 2 0 0 0 0 x 9 11 1
W: Jerry Koosman (1-0)   L: Ross Grimsley (0-1)   S: None
HR: CINDenis Menke (1)  NYMRusty Staub (2), (3)
Pitchers: CIN – Grimsley, Hall (2), Tomlin (3), Nelson (4), Borbón (7)  NYM – Koosman
Attendance: 53,967

Game 4[edit]

October 9: Shea Stadium, New York City, New York

Team 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 R H E
Cincinnati 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 0 0 0 0 1 2 8 0
New York 0 0 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 3 2
W: Clay Carroll (1-0)   L: Harry Parker (0-1)   S: Pedro Borbón (1)
HR: CINTony Pérez (1), Pete Rose (2)  NYM – None
Pitchers: CIN – Norman, Gullett (6), Carroll (10), Borbón (12)  NYM – Stone, McGraw (7), Parker (12)
Attendance: 50,786

Game 5[edit]

October 10: Shea Stadium, New York City, New York

Team 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
Cincinnati 0 0 1 0 1 0 0 0 0 2 7 1
New York 2 0 0 0 4 1 0 0 x 7 13 1
W: Tom Seaver (1-1)   L: Jack Billingham (0-1)   S: Tug McGraw (1)
HR: CIN – None  NYM – None
Pitchers: CIN – Billingham, Gullett (5), Carroll (5), Grimsley (7)  NYM – Seaver, McGraw (9)
Attendance: 50,323

World Series[edit]

AL Oakland Athletics (4) vs. NL New York Mets (3)

Game Score Date Location Attendance Time of Game
1 Mets – 1, A's – 2 October 13 Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum 46,021 2:26
2 Mets – 10, A's – 7 (12 inns) October 14 Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum 55,989 4:13
3 A's – 3, Mets – 2 (11 inns) October 16 Shea Stadium 54,817 3:15
4 A's – 1, Mets – 6 October 17 Shea Stadium 54,817 2:41
5 A's – 0, Mets – 2 October 18 Shea Stadium 54,817 2:39
6 Mets – 1, A's – 3 October 20 Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum 49,333 2:07
7 Mets – 2, A's – 5 October 21 Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum 49,333 2:37

Awards and honors[edit]

All-Stars[edit]

All-Star Game

  • Tom Seaver
  • Willie Mays

Farm system[edit]

Level Team League Manager
AAA Tidewater Tides International League John Antonelli
AA Memphis Blues Texas League Joe Frazier
A Visalia Mets California League Nolan Campbell
A Pompano Beach Mets Florida State League Gordon Mackenzie
Short-Season A Batavia Trojans New York–Penn League Wilbur Huckle
Rookie Marion Mets Appalachian League Owen Friend

LEAGUE CHAMPIONS: Memphis

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d [1]
  2. ^ Tommie Agee page at Baseball Reference
  3. ^ "Events of Friday, August 31, 1973". Retrosheet. 
  4. ^ Von Benko, George (July 7, 2005). "Notes: Phils–Pirates rivalry fading". Phillies.MLB.com. Major League Baseball. Retrieved January 3, 2011. "From 1974-80, the Phillies and Pirates won all seven National League East titles (Phillies four, Pirates three)." 
  5. ^ "Pirates perform rare three-peat feat 4–2". USA Today. September 28, 1992. p. 5C. "The Pirates...won three (NL East titles) in a row from 1970-72." 
  6. ^ Lee Mazzilli page at Baseball Reference
  7. ^ Jim Fregosi page at Baseball Reference

References[edit]

Preceded by
Pittsburgh Pirates
1972
NL East Championship Season
1973
Succeeded by
Pittsburgh Pirates
1974
Preceded by
Cincinnati Reds
1972
National League Championship Season
1973
Succeeded by
Los Angeles Dodgers
1974