1973 World Series

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1973 World Series
1973 World Series.jpg
Team (Wins) Manager Season
Oakland A's (4) Dick Williams 94–68, .580, GA: 6
New York Mets (3) Yogi Berra 82–79, .509, GA: 1 12
Dates: October 13–21
MVP: Reggie Jackson (Oakland)
Television: NBC
TV announcers: Curt Gowdy, Monte Moore (Games 1–2, 6-7), Lindsey Nelson (Games 3–5) and Tony Kubek
Radio: NBC
Radio announcers: Jim Simpson, Bob Murphy (Games 1–2, 6–7) and Monte Moore (Games 3–5)
Umpires: Marty Springstead (AL), Augie Donatelli (NL), Jerry Neudecker (AL), Paul Pryor (NL), Russ Goetz (AL), Harry Wendelstedt (NL)
Hall of Famers: A's: Dick Williams (mgr.), Rollie Fingers, Catfish Hunter, Reggie Jackson.
Mets: Yogi Berra (mgr.), Willie Mays, Tom Seaver.
ALCS: Oakland A's over Baltimore Orioles (3–2)
NLCS: New York Mets over Cincinnati Reds (3–2)
 < 1972 World Series 1974 > 
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The 1973 World Series matched the defending champion Oakland A's against the New York Mets with the A's winning in seven games to repeat as World Champions.

The New York Mets won the National League East division by 1 12 games over the St. Louis Cardinals then defeated the Cincinnati Reds, three games to two, in the National League Championship Series. The Oakland A's won the American League West division by six games over the Kansas City Royals then defeated the Baltimore Orioles, three games to two, in the American League Championship Series.

Background[edit]

New York Mets[edit]

The 1973 Mets' .509 season winning percentage is the lowest posted by any pennant-winner in major league history. Injuries plagued them throughout the season.

Stumbling through the summer in last place, the Mets got healthy and hot in September, ultimately winning the division with a mere 82 victories, marking the only time between 1970 and 1980 that neither their rival Philadelphia Phillies, nor the Pittsburgh Pirates won the division.[1][2]

The final standings:

1 New York Mets 82 79 .509 -
2 St. Louis Cardinals 81 81 .500
3 Pittsburgh Pirates 80 82 .494
4 Montreal Expos 79 83 .488
5 Chicago Cubs 77 84 .478 5
6 Philadelphia Phillies 71 91 .438 11½

1969 holdovers Bud Harrelson, Jerry Grote, Tom Seaver, Jerry Koosman, and Tug McGraw joined forces with the Mets' farm-system alumni John Milner and Jon Matlack and trade-acquired Rusty Staub, Félix Millán, and Willie Mays, now 42 years old. Don Hahn and Mays alternated in center field, although they both batted right-handed.

The Mets' National League playoff opponents: an imposing Cincinnati Reds squad that posted 99 victories during the regular season, was the favorite to return to the Series for a second consecutive year. (The Reds had fallen to the A's in the previous year's Series.) The 1973 NLCS went the full five games, and featured a now-famous brawl between Pete Rose and Mets shortstop Bud Harrelson. In the end, the Mets continued their improbable rise and bumped Rose and the rest of the mighty Reds from the playoffs.

Oakland A's[edit]

The Oakland A's secured the pennant by overcoming the Baltimore Orioles in the 1973 ALCS. The A's, defending champions, still possessed a formidable lineup headed by a healthy Reggie Jackson, (.293, 32 HR, 117 RBI, 22 stolen bases) who would be named league MVP in 1973. Jackson was joined in the lineup by standouts like third baseman Sal Bando, the fine defensive outfielder Joe Rudi, the speedy shortstop Bert Campaneris, and the A's catcher, 1972 World Series hero Gene Tenace. The pitching staff featured three 20-game winners, Ken Holtzman (21–13), Catfish Hunter (21–5), and Vida Blue (20–9), with Rollie Fingers (22 saves, 1.92) serving as the A's ace relief pitcher.

The A's offered entertainment both on and off the field in 1973; their day-glo uniforms were the perfect metaphor for a team notable for clashing personalities. The stars engaged regularly in conflicts with each other and with owner Charles O. Finley.

With the designated hitter rule in effect for the first time in 1973, American League pitchers did not bat during the regular season. They were, however, expected to take their turn at the plate during each game of this Series. So it was that a man who had played no offensive role during the regular season came to make a key batting contribution for the A's during the Series. With some extra batting practice, A's pitcher Ken Holtzman would stroke a double that helped the A's to win Game 1—and another double that helped them secure the deciding seventh game.

This Series was also made famous[citation needed] when Oakland A's owner Charlie O. Finley attempted to "fire" second-baseman Mike Andrews for his errors in Game 2 (see below). Commissioner Bowie Kuhn would reinstate Andrews and fine Finley. Despite the hostility of the Oakland players toward the team's owner, the A's would be the first to repeat as World Champions since the 196162 New York Yankees. Oakland manager Dick Williams resigned after the Series was over, having had enough of owner Charles O. Finley's interference.

Oakland reliever Darold Knowles became the only pitcher to appear in every game of a seven-game World Series.

At 82–79, the 1973 New York Mets had the worst record of any team ever to play in a World Series. They had only the ninth-best record in the 24-team major leagues, behind the Oakland A's, the Cincinnati Reds (who they beat in the National League playoffs), the Baltimore Orioles (who were defeated by Oakland in the American League playoffs), the Los Angeles Dodgers, the San Francisco Giants, the Boston Red Sox, the Detroit Tigers and the Kansas City Royals (none of whom made the postseason).

The 1973 New York Mets had the lowest winning percentage (now the second-lowest) of any postseason team (the San Diego Padres finished 82–80 in 2005).

Willie Mays recorded the final hit of his career in Game 2. In four World Series (1951, 1954, 1962, and 1973), Mays did not hit a single home run. He hit only one in the postseason, during the 1971 NLCSSan Francisco Giants versus the Pittsburgh Pirates. Mays also fell in the outfield. He commented, "Growing old is just a helpless hurt."[citation needed]

This was the last World Series in which each team produced and sold its own game programs for its home games. Starting in 1974, Major League Baseball printed an official World Series program that was sold in both stadiums.

Summary[edit]

AL Oakland A's (4) vs. NL New York Mets (3)

Game Date Score Location Time Attendance
1 October 13 New York Mets – 1, Oakland A's – 2 Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum 2:26 46,021[3]
2 October 14 New York Mets – 10, Oakland A's – 7 (12 innings) Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum 4:13 49,151[4] 
3 October 16 Oakland A's – 3, New York Mets – 2 (11 innings) Shea Stadium 3:15 54,817[5] 
4 October 17 Oakland A's – 1, New York Mets – 6 Shea Stadium 2:41 54,817[6] 
5 October 18 Oakland A's – 0, New York Mets – 2 Shea Stadium 2:39 54,817[7] 
6 October 20 New York Mets – 1, Oakland A's – 3 Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum 2:07 49,333[8] 
7 October 21 New York Mets – 2, Oakland A's – 5 Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum 2:37 49,333[9]

Matchups[edit]

Game 1[edit]

Saturday, October 13, 1973 at Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum in Oakland, California

Team 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
New York 0 0 0 1 0 0 0 0 0 1 7 2
Oakland 0 0 2 0 0 0 0 0 X 2 4 0
WP: Ken Holtzman (1–0)   LP: Jon Matlack (0–1)   Sv: Darold Knowles (1)

The Mets and A's opened the Series in Oakland with Jon Matlack and Ken Holtzman as the Game 1 starters (Matlack, with a 14–16 record during the 1973 season, is one of only four pitchers in history to start Game 1 of a World Series after a regular season losing record). Willie Mays started in place of the injured Rusty Staub and batted third in what turned out to be his final big league start.

In the third, pitcher Holtzman doubled and scored when Bert Campaneris hit a routine grounder that inexplicably bounced between Mets second baseman's Félix Millán's legs. Campaneris then stole second and scored on a single to right by Joe Rudi. The Mets came up with a run in the fourth on an RBI single by John Milner that scored Cleon Jones. Holtzman, Rollie Fingers, and Darold Knowles then shut the door on the Mets offense; Knowles earned the save.

Game 2[edit]

Sunday, October 14, 1973 at Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum in Oakland, California

Team 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 R H E
New York 0 1 1 0 0 4 0 0 0 0 0 4 10 15 1
Oakland 2 1 0 0 0 0 1 0 2 0 0 1 7 13 5
WP: Tug McGraw (1–0)   LP: Rollie Fingers (0–1)   Sv: George Stone (1)
Home runs:
NYM: Cleon Jones (1), Wayne Garrett (1)
OAK: None

Game 2, eventually won by the Mets 10–7 in twelve innings, set a new record for the longest game in Series history at four hours and thirteen minutes. Along with blinding sunshine "turn{ing} every fly ball into adventure" (especially for a 42-year old Willie Mays), Curt Gowdy described the contest in the official MLB 1973 Fall Classic highlight film as one of the "longest and weirdest games in World Series history".

Vida Blue opposed Jerry Koosman on the mound, but neither pitched well. In the first inning, the A's jumped on Koosman for two runs on a Jesús Alou double and scored again in the second on Joe Rudi's single scoring the ubiquitous Bert Campaneris, who had tripled. The Mets got solo home runs from Cleon Jones and Wayne Garrett in the second and third innings, respectively.

The A's were up 3–2 going into the sixth when things started to get strange. With one out and two on, Horacio Piña relieved Blue and promptly hit Jerry Grote with his first pitch, loading the bases. Don Hahn then drove home Cleon Jones with an infield hit and Bud Harrelson followed with an RBI single to put the Mets ahead 4–3. Jim Beauchamp then pinch-hit for reliever Harry Parker and hit a comebacker to the mound. Darold Knowles, who had relieved Pina, fielded the ball cleanly, but mysteriously lost his balance and threw the ball wildly past Ray Fosse while attempting to start a 1–2–3 double play. Two more Mets runs scored for a 6–3 lead.

Reggie Jackson had an RBI double in the seventh to make it 6–4. In the ninth, Deron Johnson, batting for Blue Moon Odom, lifted a fly ball to center that Willie Mays lost in the sun and fell down while chasing. Johnson reached second. Allan Lewis pinch-ran and scored on a single by Jackson after Sal Bando walked. Gene Tenace singled in Bando to tie it.

The Mets threatened in the 10th when Harrelson led off with a single and was sacrificed to second by Tug McGraw. Harrelson went to third when Garrett reached first on a Gene Tenace error. Harrelson then tagged and attempted to score on a Félix Millán fly to left. Harrelson appeared to have sidestepped Fosse's tag at the plate, but he was called out by umpire Augie Donatelli, prompting a heated outburst from Harrelson and on-deck batter Willie Mays.

The game stayed knotted at 6–6 until the top of the twelfth. Harrelson led off with a double and went to third on a bunt single by pitcher Tug McGraw. With two outs, Mays drove in Harrelson with a single that would turn out to be the final hit and RBI of his storied career. It gave the Mets a 7–6 lead.

After Jones walked to load the bases, John Milner grounded to second baseman Mike Andrews, but the ball went through his legs. McGraw and Mays scored to make the lead 9–6. The next batter, Grote, hit another grounder to Andrews, but he threw past Tenace at first to score Jones and make it 10–6.

The A's added a run in the bottom of the inning when Jackson reached third as Mays lost yet another fly ball in the sun and Alou singled him home, but Andrews' errors proved too much to overcome. McGraw, who pitched six innings total, earned the win, and George Stone the save and the Mets evened the series.

A's Owner Charlie Finley was furious at Andrews' twelfth-inning miscues; he proceeded to punish Andrews (and further alienate A's manager Dick Williams) by placing the infielder on the disabled list—citing a fake injury that would have sidelined Andrews for the rest of the Series. Commissioner of Baseball Bowie Kuhn stepped in, reactivated Andrews, and disciplined Finley.

Game 3[edit]

Tuesday, October 16, 1973 at Shea Stadium in Queens, New York

Team 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 R H E
Oakland 0 0 0 0 0 1 0 1 0 0 1 3 10 1
New York 2 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 2 10 2
WP: Paul Lindblad (1–0)   LP: Harry Parker (0–1)   Sv: Rollie Fingers (1)
Home runs:
OAK: None
NYM: Wayne Garrett (2)

Game 3 matched up Tom Seaver and Catfish Hunter. Hunter had trouble early on when Wayne Garrett homered to right and Félix Millán scored on a wild pitch, but then found his rhythm. Seaver kept the A's off the board until the sixth, when Sal Bando and Gene Tenace broke through with consecutive doubles that delivered a run and cut the Met lead to 2–1. Joe Rudi came up with another clutch hit in the eighth when he singled in Bert Campaneris to tie the game. In the tenth, Willie Mays would make his final appearance in an MLB game, unsuccessfully pinch-hitting for Tug McGraw. Campaneris delivered the game-winning RBI in the eleventh when he singled off Harry Parker to score Ted Kubiak. Rollie Fingers got the save.

Game 4[edit]

Wednesday, October 17, 1973 at Shea Stadium in Queens, New York

Team 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
Oakland 0 0 0 1 0 0 0 0 0 1 5 1
New York 3 0 0 3 0 0 0 0 X 6 13 1
WP: Jon Matlack (1–1)   LP: Ken Holtzman (1–1)   Sv: Ray Sadecki (1)
Home runs:
OAK: None
NYM: Rusty Staub (1)

The tide seemed to turn in the Mets' favor beginning in Game 4. A's starter Ken Holtzman couldn't make it out of the first inning after Rusty Staub smashed a three-run homer to left-center. Blue Moon Odom relieved and gave up a two-run single to Staub in a three-run Mets fourth. Jon Matlack got the win by pitching eight innings of five-hit ball.

Mike Andrews entered the game as a pinch-hitter in the eighth, prompting a standing ovation from the Mets' home crowd, in a display of defiance toward A's owner Charlie Finley. Andrews grounded out in what would be his last ever major league at-bat.

Game 5[edit]

Thursday, October 18, 1973 at Shea Stadium in Queens, New York

Team 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
Oakland 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 3 1
New York 0 1 0 0 0 1 0 0 X 2 7 1
WP: Jerry Koosman (1–0)   LP: Vida Blue (0–1)   Sv: Tug McGraw (1)

Game 5 was a rematch up of Vida Blue and Jerry Koosman. This time, both pitchers threw well. John Milner had an RBI single in the second, and Don Hahn's triple to center field scored Jerry Grote with the second Mets run in the sixth. Koosman pitched well and got the win, with a save from Tug McGraw.

Game 6[edit]

Saturday, October 20, 1973 at Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum in Oakland, California

Team 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
New York 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 0 1 6 2
Oakland 1 0 1 0 0 0 0 1 X 3 7 0
WP: Catfish Hunter (1–0)   LP: Tom Seaver (0–1)   Sv: Rollie Fingers (2)

The A's won, thanks to the clutch pitching of Catfish Hunter (who outdueled Tom Seaver), and the timely hitting of Reggie Jackson. Jackson doubled and drove in Joe Rudi in the first inning and doubled in Sal Bando in the third to give Oakland a 2–0 lead. In the eighth inning, the Mets threatened, knocking Hunter out of the game after Ken Boswell singled in a run. Reliever Darold Knowles put out the fire by striking out the sore-shouldered Rusty Staub on three pitches with two men on base. In the bottom half of the inning, the A's added an insurance run when Jackson singled, advanced to third on center fielder Don Hahn's error, and scored on Jesús Alou's sacrifice fly. Rollie Fingers got the save in the ninth inning to force a seventh game.

Game 7[edit]

Sunday, October 21, 1973 at Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum in Oakland, California

Team 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
New York 0 0 0 0 0 1 0 0 1 2 8 1
Oakland 0 0 4 0 1 0 0 0 X 5 9 1
WP: Ken Holtzman (2–1)   LP: Jon Matlack (1–2)   Sv: Darold Knowles (2)
Home runs:
NYM: None
OAK: Bert Campaneris (1), Reggie Jackson (1)

Jon Matlack matched up with Ken Holtzman, who was coming back from his early shower in Game 4. The third inning proved to be the difference, as Holtzman lined a one-out double off Matlack to left, his second of the Series after not batting at all during the season. Matlack then surrendered a two run opposite-field homer to Bert Campaneris (Oakland's first home run of the series), and then another two run blast to Reggie Jackson later in the inning, giving the A's a 4–0 lead and Holtzman all the runs he needed. The Mets came back with two runs after Oakland increased their lead to 5–0 in the fifth inning, but it was not enough. Campaneris snagged a Wayne Garrett pop fly to end the series; and Jackson was named the World Series MVP.[10]

In the third inning, Gene Tenace walked for the eleventh time tying the Series record set by Babe Ruth of the Yankees in 1926. In the seventh inning, Wayne Garrett struck out for the eleventh time tying the Series record set by Eddie Mathews of the Milwaukee Braves in 1958. Darold Knowles got the save and became the only pitcher ever to appear in all seven games of a seven-game World Series.[11]

Vern Hoscheit, a coach with the A's in 1973, would win a World Series with the Mets as a coach in 1986.

Composite line score[edit]

1973 World Series (4–3): Oakland A's (A.L.) over New York Mets (N.L.)

Team 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 R H E
Oakland A's 3 1 7 1 1 1 1 2 2 0 1 1 21 51 9
New York Mets 5 2 1 4 0 6 0 1 1 0 0 4 24 66 10
Total attendance: 358,289   Average attendance: 51,184
Winning player's share: $24,618   Losing player's share: $14,950[12]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ Von Benko, George (July 7, 2005). "Notes: Phils–Pirates rivalry fading". Phillies.MLB.com. Major League Baseball. Retrieved January 3, 2011. 
  2. ^ "Pirates perform rare three-peat feat 4-2". USA Today. September 28, 1992. p. 5C. 
  3. ^ "1973 World Series Game 1 - New York Mets vs. Oakland A's". Retrosheet. Retrieved September 13, 2009. 
  4. ^ "1973 World Series Game 2 - New York Mets vs. Oakland A's". Retrosheet. Retrieved September 13, 2009. 
  5. ^ "1973 World Series Game 3 - Oakland A's vs. New York Mets". Retrosheet. Retrieved September 13, 2009. 
  6. ^ "1973 World Series Game 4 - Oakland A's vs. New York Mets". Retrosheet. Retrieved September 13, 2009. 
  7. ^ "1973 World Series Game 5 - Oakland A's vs. New York Mets". Retrosheet. Retrieved September 13, 2009. 
  8. ^ "1973 World Series Game 6 - New York Mets vs. Oakland A's". Retrosheet. Retrieved September 13, 2009. 
  9. ^ "1973 World Series Game 7 - New York Mets vs. Oakland A's". Retrosheet. Retrieved September 13, 2009. 
  10. ^ "Skipper skips off as A’s walk proud". Milwaukee Journal. October 22, 1973. p. 13. Retrieved June 20, 2013. 
  11. ^ Green, G. Michael; Launius, Roger D. (2010). The Outrageous Story of Baseball’s Super Showman. New York: Walker Publishing Company. p. 13. ISBN 978-0-8027-1745-0. 
  12. ^ "World Series Gate Receipts and Player Shares". Baseball Almanac. Archived from the original on May 2, 2009. Retrieved June 14, 2009. 

References[edit]

  • Neft, David S., and Richard M. Cohen. The World Series. 1st ed. New York: St Martins, 1990. (Neft and Cohen 345–350)
  • Reichler, Joseph, ed. (1982). The Baseball Encyclopedia (5th ed.), p. 2191. MacMillian Publishing. ISBN 0-02-579010-2.

Forman, Sean L. "1973 World Series". Baseball-Reference.com - Major League Statistics and Information. Archived from the original on November 30, 2007. Retrieved December 9, 2007. 

External links[edit]