Oct 18, 2017

Remembering Mets History(1973): World Series Game #2 - Mets Win A Wild Classic In 12 Innings

Sunday, October 14th 1973: World Series Game #2- Oakland Alameda Coliseum, Oakland California 

Legendary NBC Broadcaster Gurt Gowdy, covering today's game with Tony Kubek & Monty Moore described this as "one of the longest & weirdest games in World Series history".

At the time it broke a record for longest World Series game; taking four hours & thirteen minutes to play the 12 innings. The bright California afternoon sun ,was a horror for the fielders trying to catch fly balls. 

The Oakland A's would use six pitchers & a total of 21 players today, making five errors in the game. The Mets would use five pitchers & 17 total players, making one error.

49, 151 fans came out to watch the Oakland A's take on the New York Mets. The A's were in their traditional Sunday home white uniforms today, as the one & only Bob Hope threw out the first pitch from A's owner; Charlie Finley's private box.

Bob Hope Tosses Out First Pitch in Game #2

1973 NBC World Series Broadcasters
Curt Gowdy, Monte Moore & Tony Kubek

1973 World Series Game #2 Starting Lineups

The starters were left hander Jerry Koosman (14-15 / 2.84 ERA / 154 K's/ 12 complete games / 3 shut outs)  vs Oakland's left hander Vida Blue (20-9 / 3.28 ERA / 158 Ks / 13 complete games / 4 shut outs).

Both starters had their troubles today; The A's scored first getting two runs off Kooz right away, in the 1st inning.

Joe Rudi doubled with one out & then team Captain; Sal Bando tripled scoring Joe Rudi. Then with two out & two on, Jesus Alou singled bringing in Bando.

The Mets responded as one of the Mets hottest hitters down the stretch; Cleon Jones hit a HR to deep right field putting New York on the board. It was Jones' first World Series HR, he had hit one in the 1969 NLCS.

Cleon Jones Greeted by John Milner After Hitting HR

In the bottom of the 2nd, Bert Campaneris, the Mets main pesty problem during the Series, tripled and was driven home by Joe Rudi.
Wayne Garrett's 3rd Inning HR
The Mets came back with a run in the bottom of the 3rd, as Wayne Garrett, who hit 16 HRs on the regular season, blasted a HR to right.

In the bottom of the 3rd, Gene Tenace walked & Jesus Alou singled. Ray Fossee then reached on an error by Jerry Koosman on a throw to first base. Manager Yogi Berra had seen enough, Koos didn't have it today.

Berra brought in veteran Ray Sadecki (5-4 / one save / 3.39 ERA / 87 Ks in 116 innings). Next, Tenace got caught up between thirs & home & was tagged out in the run down. Sadecki then got Dick Green to strike out ending the threat. He struck out two batters in the 4th inning, retiring the side in order.

The game remained that way, going into the 6th inning with the A's leading 3-2.

In the top of the 6th, Cleon Jones walked & John Milner singled to right field. Dick Williams lifted Vida Blue & brought in the side arm throwing Horatio Pina (6-3 / 8 saves/ 2.76 ERA).

Next up, catcher Jerry Grote was hit by a pitch. There was concern since Grote had broken his wrist in the same spot earlier in the year. The tough catcher grinned & bared it, taking his base, shrugging off his manager Berra & the trainer.

Jones Scores on Don Hahn's Infield Hit
Next, Don Hahn got an infield hit, with a short grounder to Bando at third base. Bando tried to bare hand it but came up empty, as Cleon Jones who broke on contact, scored to tie the game. Short stop; Bud Harrelson singled to right field scoring Milner & the Mets were ahead 4-3.

Yogi Berra sent up pinch hitter; Jim Beauchamp to bat for Ed Kranepool. Dick Williams brought in Darold Knowles (6-8 / 9 saves / 3.09 ERA) to pitch to Beauchamp, who grounded a ball to the pitcher. But Knowles botched the play & threw wildly to home plate in an attempt to get the force play. In the vast Oakland Coliseum, with the most foul territory in all of baseball, Grote & Hahn both scored and the Mets led 6-3.

Tug McGraw pitches Six Innings of Relief
Tug McGraw came on to pitch in the home 6th, and would pitch for six innings as the game went to extra innings. 

In the A's 7th, McGraw hit Bert Campaneris in the helmet with a pitch. He was dazed but reached base & stole third base after Joe Rudi had walked. McGraw got Sal Bando looking at a slow screwball for out number two. Then Reggie Jackson's bat woke up as he doubled to right field scoring Campy, making it a 6-4 Mets lead.

In the top of the 9th, Rusty Staub singled & Willie Mays was brought in to pinch run. John Milner singled but Grote & Hahn were bother retired by John "blue moon" Odom (5-12 / 4.49 ERA) who had come on in the 8th inning.

Hahn & Mays Make Defensive Switch
In the bottom of the 9th, Manager Berra made some defensive changes, he put Willie Mays (who seemed as surprised as anyone) in center & moved Don Hahn over to right.

The first batter pinch hitter Deron Johnson, hit a fly ball to Mays in center. Mays lost the ball in the sun, stumbled & Johnson had a double. Track star, Alan Lewis came in to run for Johnson, he was the teams designated runner. It was heartbreaking for all America, to watch the once great Willie Mays fumble in the outfield.

Don Hahn Singles
McGraw struck out Campaneris & got Rudi to ground out. But with two outs, he walked Sal Bando. Then Reggie Jackson singled scoring Lewis & Gene Tenace singled bringing in Bando to tie the game. 

The Oakland crowd, who were accused by the players of being too quiet in Game #1, responded by screaming & going wild. Jesus Alou then grounded out to the pitcher & it was on to Sunday afternoon extra innings.

McGraw kept the A's quiet over the next two innings. Rollie Fingers (7-8 / 22 saves / 1.92 ERA) came in for Oakland, as two best of the best relievers in baseball were in the spotlight against each other.

In the Mets 10th, Bud Harrelson  led off with a single to centerfield & was sacrificed over by McGraw. Wayne Garrett reached on an error sending Harrelson to third base.

Then the drama, in one of the most remembered & controversial plays in Mets history occurred.

Felix Millan hit a flyball to short left field, as Bud Harrelson got ready & tagged up at third. Left fielder; Joe Rudi made the play & fired the ball home to catcher Ray Fosse. But Rudi's throw was up the line in foul territory

Willie Mays Cant Believe the Call

Everyone in America expected Bud Harrelson to slide including home plate Umpire; Augie Donatelli. He set up in the wrong spot &  fell down trying to adjust to see the play.
A's Catcher; Ray Fosse took the ball & attempted to swipe his glove with a tag on Harrelson. Fosse never touched him & it appeared the Mets broke the deadlock.

But Umpire Donatelli who was on lying on the floor couldn't see the play correctly & called Harrelson out. The Mets went wild, on deck batter Willie Mays fell to his knees pleading, how could you miss the call. He argued the call from his knees, in one of the series' most famous scenes. 

Mets Manager Yogi Berra Comes Out
 To Argue Play with Umpire Augie Donatelli
Mets Manager; Yogi Berra came storming out of the dug out screaming 'He never touched him. You Missed the damn thing. You were expecting him to slide".

Harrelson jumped in the air & rolled around on the ground, jumped up & ran back to the home plate area, stating "you cant throw me out for you inadequacy". 

Third base coach Eddie Yost joined the contingent at home plate arguing the call & trying to keep Harrelson back. Berra, had been miced by MLB for the highlight reel, & p[lemty of beeps were heard in place of the cursing that was going on. He insisted to know "where did he tag him, where  did he tag him" & Donatelli replied "right here on the beep"!

The instant replay showed Fosse had missed the call. The broadcasters agreed but the game continued. Amazingly no one was ejected from the game.

The Mets got revenge in the top of the 12th. The Mets post season main character, Bud Harrelson led off with a double to right center field. Pitcher Tug McGraw, still in the game, reached on a bunt base hit. Willie Mays then came up and got what turned out to be the the last hit of his career.

Quotes: Willie Mays-“As I stepped into the batter’s box, I called time & said to Oakland catcher Ray Fosse- gee it’s tough to see the ball with that background. I hope he don’t throw me no fastballs. I don’t want to get hurt.”

Willie Mays Gets Last Hit of Career
Willie then waited on Rollie Fingers fastball and singled to center. "I just felt I couldn’t let those kids down. They hadn’t seen me when I was young, but they expected me to set an example.”

He brought home Harrelson, who stomped on the plate in front of home plate umpire Augie Donatelli, (as to say I'm safe this time) in what would be the game's winning run. Cleon Jones followed with a single loading up the bases.

A bizarre game would get even interesting, as another low profiled player, would become famous over night. Oakland reserve infielder Mike Andrews, had been brought into the game in the 8th inning, to play second base.

Tug McGraw
In the wild 12th inning, he let a John Milner ground ball go through his legs allowing Tug McGraw to score.

On the next play Jerry Grote hit another ground ball to Andrews, he played it cleanly but threw to first a bot off the mark, pulling first baseman Gene Tenace off the bag. Grote was safe & Cleon Jones scored, putting the Mets ahead 10-6.

(see article below for the full story on Mike Andrews )

In his sixth inning of work, Tug McGraw began to tire in the 10th inning. He allowed a Reggie Jackson triple & then walked Gene Tenace .

Yogi Berra came to the mound & brought in George Stone. Stone (12-3 / 2.80 ERA) who was sensational for the Mets during the regular season, was making what turned out to be his only World Series appearance.

Stone  gave up a base hit to Jesus Alou, allowing one run to score, but then put out the fire. He got Ray Fosse to ground out & then walked Mike Andrews.

With two on & the tying run at the plate, he got pinch hitter Vic Davillio to pop out to Millan. He then got the pesky Campaneris to ground out to Harrelson to end the game & earn a save.

The Mets won the crazy game 10-7, tying up the Series at one game each, heading back to New York & Shea Stadium.
After the game, A's owner Charley Finley was so furious at the two errors Mike Andrews committed, he made him sign a release form saying he was hurt & put him on the injured reserve list. The A's team rallied behind their team mate & threatened to forfeit the Series.

A's Manager Dick Williams was so fed up with the owner Charlie Finley's interfering with the team, announced to his club behind closed doors that he would not be back to manage in 1974.

MLB Commissioner Bowie Kuhn, as well as Players Union head; Marvin Mitchell,  stepped in & made Finley place Mike Andrews back on the active roster. It was major news over the off day of the Series & set the stage for three classic nights at Shea Stadium.

Remembering Mets History (1973): World Series: Game #1 New York Mets vs Oakland A's

New York Mets vs. Oakland A's

Saturday, October 13th 1973: World Series Game #1

Mets Pitching Coach
Rube Walker
Visits with Pitcher
Jon Matlack
The Series opened up on beautiful Saturday afternoon in Oakland, as crowd of 46,021 came to the Oakland Alameda Coliseum. Hank Aaron became the first active player to ever throw out a ceremonial first pitch in a World Series. Aaron was just two HRs shy of the all time HR record (715) as the 1973 regular season ended.

The Mets would have to start the Series, without their main run producer; Rusty Staub, due to the injured shoulder he suffered crashing into the outfield wall in Game #4 of the NLCS. His ailing shoulder would be an issue the entire series.

Willie Mays was in the line up in his place, playing centerfield to the delight of America.

Willie Mays Gets Standing Ovation
It was an extra special treat for Mays & the fans of the Bay Area since he had spent the majority of his career, plating across the Bay in San Francisco. He received a tremendous standing ovation from the crowd during the pre game introductions. It also turned out to be the last game Mays would start.

During the pre game meeting at home plate between the two managers & the umpires, Dick Williams asked if Yogi Berra minded if infielder Manny Trillo (who was denied activation leaving the A's one man short) could sit in the Oakland bullpen.

Quotes: Berra said "I don't mind as long as a fight breaks out, he stays there!" A great referance to the Harrelson / Rose brawl in NLCS Game #3.

The starting pitchers were Jon Matlack for New York (14-16 / 205 Ks / 3.20 ERA) who had pitched a two hit shutout in his last outing in Game #2 of the NLCS.

Matlack had won four of his last six regular season games as well. Although he was much better than his record shows, history remembers him as one of just four pitchers who started a World Series Game #1 after posting a regular season losing record.

Matlack went up against left hander Ken Holtzman (21-13 / 2.97 ERA / 157 Ks) one of Oakland's three twenty game winners. Holtzman had out dueled Baltimore's; Mike Cuellar in Game #3 of the ALCS, pitching 11 innings allowing just one run on three hits striking out seven Orioles.

Mets Willie Mays Gets First Hit of '73 World Series
The World Series opened up with Willie Mays, getting the Series' first hit, a 1st inning single to left field.

In the Oakland 3rd, Dick Green walked but was thrown out trying to steal second base, after pitcher Ken Holtzman failed trying to bunt. But Ken Holtzman then doubled down the left field line. Holtzman did not bat all season in the American League's first year using the designated hitter rule.

Bert Campaneris followed with a ground ball to second base, that went under the legs of the usually sure handed Felix Millan. Holtzman came around to score the Series' first run, 1-0 Oakland.

Felix Millan's Error
Bert Campaneris, was a six time AL stolen base leader, who had 34 steals on the '73 season, a number that was low for him. Matlack threw to first base & fooled Campaneris with the pickoff throw.

But the throw was too high as first baseman John Milner leaped in the air at first base to make the catch. Campy took off & swiped second base cleanly. Joe Rudi then delivered with a base hit to right field, and just like that it was 2-0 Oakland.

The base running antics of Bert Campaneris who was trouble for the Mets the entire series, caused the first controversy of the game as well.

All Star Short Stops Campaneris & Harrelson
In the 8th, Campy bunted between home plate & first base. Mets first baseman John Milner fielded the ball & attempted a tag on Campy on his way to first base. He slid under the tag, jumped up running safely to first base. He may have been out of the baseline as well but was ruled safe on all accounts.

Manager Yogi Berra came to argue the call saying Milner tagged him, to no avail. The play made the cover of that weeks Sports Illustrated as well.

The two runs proved to be all the A's needed that day, as their pitching held down the Mets to just one run on seven hits.

In the Mets 4th, Cleon Jones doubled to left center field. The Hammer; John Milner brought him in with a single to center field. Jerry Grote hit a long line drive to center that was snagged by Reggie Jackson for the second out. Don Hahn walked but Bud Harrelson struck out to end the inning.

Holtzman went five innings, one run on four hits with three walks & two strike outs. He was relieved by the AL's best relief pitcher; Future Hall of Famer Rollie Fingers(7-8 / 22 saves / 1.92 ERA).

A's Ken Holtzman Shuts Down Mets
Fingers served up a leadoff base hit to Cleon Jones in the 6th & went two outs struck out Don Hahn. But the ball scampered away from A's catcher Ray Fossee & Hahn reached base as Joes went to third.

Fingers then struck out Harrelson to end the threat. In the Mets 7th, pinch hitter Kenny Boswell singled but was erased on a double play & the Mets went down quietly.

In the 9th, Fingers got pinch hitter Eddie Kranepool to line out. He then walked Ron Hodges who was pinch hitting for Bud Harrelson. A's manager Dick Williams came to the mound & brought in Darold Knowles (6-8 / 9 saves / 3.09 ERA) .

Knowles would get pinch hitter Jim Beauchamp to pop out & Wayne Garrett to fly out to right field. The first game of the World Series was over, with the Mets taking a rough 2-1 loss.

Matlack went six innings, taking the loss, even though both runs were un earned. He allowed just six hits with two walks & three strike outs.

After the 3rd inning , when the A's had scored their runs, Matlack did not allow any more base runners. Tug McGraw came in relief & pitched two scoreless innings, allowing a walk & a hit.

Oct 17, 2017

Remembering Mets History (1973): NLCS Game #5 - The Mets Win The Pennant !! The Mets Win The Pennant !!

Wednesday, October 10th, 1973: NLCS Game #5- Shea Stadium, New York

Cincinnati Reds vs. New York Mets
Now with the Series all tied up, it was down to the decisive Game #5 for all the marbles. The Mets long season took them here & an official crowd of 50,323 filled into Shea Stadium for a chance to see their team get to the World Series.

It was a beautiful fall day for the afternoon game which took two hours & forty minutes to play. The winning club would earn $14,000 & the losers would earn about $6000.

The Mets had to play without their main RBI man; Rusty Staub. Staub had injured his shoulder crashing into the outfield wall making a spectacular catch in Game #4. Eddie Kranepool was in the line up playing in left field & Cleon Jones moved over to right. 

Starting Lineups

Cincinnati Reds
New York Mets
1Pete RoseLF
1Wayne Garrett3B
2Joe Morgan2B
2Felix Millan2B
3Dan Driessen3B
3Cleon JonesRF
4Tony Perez1B
4John Milner1B
5Johnny BenchC
5Ed KranepoolLF
6Ken GriffeyRF
6Jerry GroteC
7Cesar GeronimoCF
7Don HahnCF
8Darrel ChaneySS
8Bud HarrelsonSS
9Jack BillinghamP
9Tom SeaverP

 Seaver Clinches the Pennant
1973 Cy Young Award winner; Tom Seaver (19-10 / 2.08 ERA / 251 Ks) took the mound & amp; as he went to work discovered his fastball was not at its best. Seaver, possibly a bit fatigued working on three days' rest, struggled all afternoon without the use of his usual blazing fastball. He would have to work harder today, using other pitches in his arsenal.

Seaver said "Jerry Grote realized that right away, he made me change my whole game. He made me change my speeds."

In the Top of the 1st, Pete Rose, now public enemy number one in New York, walked to the plate to a tremendous chorus of boo's & obscenities. He grounded out to Felix Millan at second & the Mets fans cheered. Seaver then walked Joe Morgan, served up a single to Dan Driessen & then tossed a wild pitch advancing the runners. Tony Perez was the batter,

Seaver later explained the at bat "I had to get Perez out, so I would have to put Johnny Bench on. I got Perez on a sinker, a good pitch. And God Bless Jerry Grote, he made a hell of a play in the first inning that might have changed the whole game".

Grote held on to a foul tip for out number two. Bench was walked intentionally & a young Ken Griffey flew out to center field.

The Reds, sent Seaver's same opponent from Game #1 to the mound for the finale, Jack Billingham (19-10 / 3.04 ERA / 155 Ks).

After Wayne Garrett grounded out, Billingham ran into trouble. The steady Felix Millan singled & Cleon Jones followed with another base hit to right field. John Milner then drew a walk to load the bases. Eddie Kranepool, in the lineup for the injured Staub, had said with a smile before the game "I'll be in left field today in Pete Rose's; Rose Garden, I hope I bloom.".

He sure did, as Steady Eddie delivered with a base hit to Rose in left field. Millan & Jones scored, as Shea Stadium erupted in a wild roar. Billingham retired Jerry Grote & Don Hahn but New York was up 2-0.

In the Reds 3rd inning, Rose grounded out weakly to Seaver, and left the field to more boos. Then Joe Morgan doubled & advanced to third, on an E9 error in the outfield. Dan Driessen hit a sac fly to Kranepool in left putting the Reds on the board, 2-1 Mets.

In the top of the 5th the Reds tied the game, as Rose led off with a double & scored on Tony Perez's single to right field. The game was tied & everyone held their breath until the bottom of the inning.

This was a Mets team with a lot of heart. They were use to being counted out & coming from behind. It's core also had members of the 1969 Amazing World Champions & knew how to win. They quickly responded to the Reds tying the game.

Wayne Garrett led off with a double to right field, getting the Mets fans to start it's "Lets Go Mets" chants.

Next up, Felix Millan who was second in the NL in sac hits on the season (18) was called on to do the same thing. He laid down a bunt fielded by Billingham, who was instructed by Bench to throw to third base.

At third, rookie Dan Driessen fielded the ball & stood on the base. Driessen a natural first baseman in a different position, had a mental lapse. He never tagged Garrett & since there was no force play, all runners were safe. Reds Manager Spark Anderson told the media it was just inexperience, defending his player.

Next, Cleon Jones delivered with his second hit of the game, a double off the left field wall, scoring the go ahead run.

Willie Mays Greeted by the Shea Crowd
Anderson yanked Billingham, bringing in Don Gullett (18-8 / 3.51 ERA / 153 Ks / 2 saves). John Milner drew a walk & then a very special moment happened at Shea Stadium.

Yogi Berra then sent up the great Willie Mays, to pinch hit for Ed Kranepool.

As he walked to the plate the Shea Stadium crowd gave him an incredible standing ovation, in what may have been his last time at bat in New York City. He would get one final at bat in Game #3 of the World Series. It was a very touching moment, Even Reds catcher; Johnny Bench, gave Mays a tap on his back as he stepped into the box.

Willie Mays' RBI Infield Hit
The Reds manager; Sparky Anderson changed pitchers again, bringing in Clay Carroll 98-8 / 14 saves / 3.69 ERA). The national NBC television broadcast cut away to report that Vice President Spiro Agnew had resigned. They later had to apologize to the public for cutting away.

Mays who batted just .211 on the season, came through in his first at bat of the NLCS. He bounced a high Baltimore Chop toward third base, reaching safely with an infield hit. It was enough to score Millan & make it a 4-2 Mets lead, as Shea Stadium gave Mays another standing ovation.

Quotes: Willie Mays after the game- "I wanted to do something for this team, they've taken care of me all year. I mean they didn't bother me about playing. You always want to play but when you get older..... "

After Jerry Grote grounded out, center fielder Don Hahn grounded to short, but John Milner came in to score from third base. Bud Harrelson, New York's latest favorite underdog hero, stepped in to a huge ovation & amp; singled to Rose in left field. Mays crossed the plate & the Mets had a commanding 6-2 lead & never looked back.

In the home 6th, Tom Seaver led off with a double to left field. With two outs, the hot hitting Cleon Jones brought in Seaver with a single up the middle, making it 7-2 New York.

On the mound, Seaver allowed just one hit over the next three innings & amp; a very tense atmosphere led us to the 9th inning.

At this point in time, although the Reds threatened a bit, most people were more concerned about what was going on around Shea Stadium. Many of the younger fans, had made their way from the upper deck to the box seats area, in order to charge the field after the final out was made. The lower level was overflowing with fans who wanted to be a part of the action.

Tug McGraw Comes In to Close It Out
In the 9th, Cesar Geronimo lined out to Millan for the first out. Then Seaver began to tire, he gave up a base hit to pinch hitter Larry Stahl & amp; then walked Hal King.

On the first base side, the temporary seating area collapsed from the weight of the fans making their way. The game had to be halted for ten minutes when Pete Rose was at bat. Tom Seaver himself walked over to the area & told the fans to calm down, they still had to finish the game. 

A wife of the Reds team doctor fell down & was stepped on. She was escorted away in tears. Reds coach Alex Grammas knew what was coming & urged the players wives section to leave the box seat area. They were escorted out into the Reds dug out to the clubhouse. Reportedly, a rowdy fan pulled Mrs. Phil Gagliano's hair as she climbed in to the Reds dugout. Phil then punched the fan & he got off the top of the dugout area.

Quotes: Reds Manager Sparky Anderson: "It's unbelievable to me, I just can't believe they don't have better control over the people. It makes me ashamed I am in this country.

But I am not too sure New York is in this country. Not after this week. Normal fans don't act that way, they must be on dope or something".

Harsh words for a whole city, because of a few out of hand fans, especially since Mr. Rose was the one who started a fight with a much smaller guy two days prior, stirring things up. Those words certainly would not be tolerated in today's politically correct times.

When play resumed, Pete Rose had an 0-2 count & took a close pitch. Seaver & Jerry Grote thought it was strike three, but umpire Bruce Fromming thought differently. Rose then drew a walk to load the bases.

Yogi Berra went to his bullpen, bringing in one of baseball's top relief pitchers; Tug McGraw. Seaver left to a tremendous ovation & McGraw entered to the exact situation he wanted to be in.

He walked into the Mets infield meeting on the mound & got the ball from Yogi Berra, everyone knew the World Series was awaiting the Miracle Mets. McGraw got Joe Morgan to pop up to the infield, as Harrelson made the grab for out number two.

Now the tension really mounted, as public enemy number one in New York; Pete Rose was on first base. As the fans, looking like hungry lions waiting to devour on their prey, everyone was concerned with Rose's safety.

Shea Stadium Field Taken Over By the Fans
 New York was a rough place in the early seventies & security measures for a crowd this large were not as advanced as in today's times.

On the radio MLB broadcaster; the legendary Vin Scully kept emphasizing over & over his concerns for Rose to get off the field safely, hoping the fans would behave.

Dan Driessen then grounded out to McGraw, he tossed the ball to John Milner at first for the final out. The Mets had done it, they won the pennant & amp; were headed to California for the World Series.

Tug McGraw Runs For His Life

McGraw held on to his cap & ran for his life as the fans stormed the field. Willie Mays had to fight a fan off to protect his cap, as he ran into the right field bullpen area for safety. Mays said it was the only cap he had left & felt it was a good luck charm. He'd rather give up his uniform shirt.

Willie Mays Runs Into the Bullpen For Safety
Pete Rose had to make it to the Reds dugout for his safety, he later claimed he was never more scared in his whole life.

After the game he said "I'm still thinking we can win this game & they are scaring me to death". I had 15 guys with bats ready to protect me, but I was never touched. I got out of there fast."

Johnny Bench added: " Our first concern was Pete's safety. I thought someone might try to kill him. If the cops weren't going to stop these maniacs we would".

Quotes- Pete Rose: " New York doesn't deserve a pennant. They let the fans out of the zoo for the game & take them back when it's over."

Wayne Garrett Runs Off the Field
Quotes : Jerry Grote "He better get the hell out of here in a hurry!"

The Reds were very upset, as they banged the lockers & walls of the visiting clubhouse in disgust. Most of their rage was geared toward the fans to cover up their frustrations of losing the underdog Mets. Johnny Bench told the press "We had Seaver on the ropes in the first inning, with another hit & bingo maybe he'd be out of there. We didn't get that hit".

The Reds boarded their bus home to a long winter. A fan with a bugle stayed by the Reds bus & played "Taps" for over an hour!

The fans did storm the field, but mostly in celebration shouting "we're number one"! Unfortunately they did rip part the turf, making huge craters on the field.

The bases, the pitching rubber & parts of the outfield fence were all gone. The Police estimated that 1/3 of the crowd had jumped onto the field after the game. It was a bad scene & the organization was embarrassed.

Tom Seaver spoke out saying "These fans dont care about anything about baseball or us winning. It's just an exuse for them to tear up anything in sight".

Yogi Berra, Ted Martinez, Willie Mays &
Felix Millan Celebrate Pennant Win
Luckily the grounds crew had a full week before the World Series was to be played at Shea. In the Mets locker room, they was a happy, joyous chaos of a victory celebration.

From last place in August to an NL pennant a bit over a month later, was incredible. This was another Miracle Mets finish, not as surprising as 1969 but yet very memorable. The Mets were now going to their second World Series in four years & had to be acknowledged as winners.

The players doused each other in champagne, as Tug McGraw was heard yelling repeatedly "You Gotta Believe, You Gotta Belive!!!".

Jon Matlack
Tom Seaver poured some bubbly on the New York City Mayor; John Lindsay saying "Once again" referring to what he had done in 1969. The Mayor responded "Once again!!!".

Willie Mays said to him" Mr. Mayor you don't know how good I feel. I came in a winner & I am going out as a winner".

Seaver talked about the game: "Of course I was tired but I had a lot of good stuff. Grote called a great game, he called a lot of change ups on Bench & others that made me more effective than I might have been otherwise. He's been catching me seven years now & knows me."

Ed Kranepool Douses Willie Mays With
Champagne As Don Hahn Looks On
Willie Mays said he had a lump in his throat when he came to bat as a pinch hitter in the game. He was reminded that he as a rookie in 1951 (just 22 years prior), he was on deck when Bobby Thompson hit his famous "shot heard around the world" to win the 1951 pennant for the New York Giants.

Mays said "When Thompson hit I was on deck & scared to death. Today I was hoping to be up when something was happening. I think the pressure was on the pitcher. I like pressure."

Seaver & McGraw Celebrate
He added this team was all about togetherness. Manager Yogi Berra said "whoever figured we'd win it & wind up in the World Series. They really played ball since we got them all together".

The teams owner Joan Payson said "I'm so stunned, I could scream".

..................On to the 1973 World Series........................