Oct 12, 2015

Remembering The 1973 N.L. Champion Mets: The Drama of A's Second Baseman Mike Andrews in the 1973 World Series



Remembering the 42nd Anniversary of the 1973 N.L. Champion Mets



Michael Jay Andrews was born July 9th 1943 in Los Angeles; California. In 1966 the six foot three infielder, he came up with the Boston Red sox, under manager Dick Williams.

Andrews was the REd Sox main second baseman in their 1967 "Impossible Dream” club that won the pennant& lost the World Series to the St. Louis Cardinals. He was a fine defensive second baseman and hit pretty well for infielders of his time. In that 67 season h batted .263 with 8 HRs 20 doubles 40 RBIs & 79 runs scored. In the World Series he hit .308 (4-13) driving in a run in the Sox 8-4 win at Fenway Park.

In 1969 he hit .293 with 15 HRs & 26 doubles making the AL All Star team. He followed up with career bests in HRs (17) doubles (28) hits (149) runs (91) & RBIs (65) in 1970.

After Dick Williams had left Boston as manager, Andrews found himself traded to the Chicago White Sox, along with Luis Alvarado for Hall of Famer Luis Aparicio, who was at the end of his career. Andrews would lead the AL secondbaseman in errors three straight seasons from 1971-1972. In April 1973, he became the first official designated hitter in White Sox history, but was released that July.

A's Manager Dick Williams at Shea Stadium:
1973 World Series
His old manager Dick Williams now manager of the World Champion Oakland A's recruited him. At the time, Oakland's main second baseman was the steady Dick Green. But in the strange world of Charley Finley's A's, Green was often pinch hit for late in games. Andrews was a good late inning hitter & substitute on the field, and a Williams’s favorite.

In 1973 Andrews hit only .190 in 18 games, and got into two games of the ALCS against the Baltimore Orioles going 0-1. In Game #2 of the 1973 World Series against the New York Mets, he pinch hit in the 8th inning grounding out for the third out. He went to second base as a defensive replacement for Green, in the ninth, with the Mets ahead 6-4. The A’s tied thescore in a wild game that just got crazier in extra innings.

In the top of the 12th Bud Harrelson doubled off Rollie Fingers and Mets pitcher; Tug McGraw got on with a bunt base hit. Fingers got the next two outs, but then Willie Mays singled with the last hit of his career, to score Harrelson, putting the Mets ahead.

The drama was just starting for Mike Andrews; with the bases loaded, Manager Williams removed fingers & brought in Paul Lindblad. He pitched to John Milner, who hit a ground ball to Andrews at second base. The ball went right through Andrews’s legs, as McGraw & Mays both scored.

The next batter, catcher Jerry Grote also hit a grounder to Andrews. He fielded it cleanly and threw to first base. But the throw pulled first baseman Gene Tenace off the bag, it was charged an the error, but certainly could have gone either way. Andrews set a World Series record making back to back errors in the same game. The Mets scored four runs in that inning, three due to Andres errors.

A's Owner Charlie Finley & His
Three World Series Trophies
In the bottom of the 12th, the A's got one run back but lost the game 10-7, as the series was tied up one game each. After the game, Andrews was called into the controversial A's owner Charlie Finley’s office.

Finley had an orthopedist doctor examine Andrews and pressured the player to sign a paper saying he had injured his shoulder. Finley then placed Andrews on the disable list and attempted to activate second baseman Manny Trillo.

The rest of the Oakland players were waiting almost an hour on the team bus for the airport, as Andrews & manager Williams were in this meeting. They eventually learned about what happened to Andrews on the flight to New York, with no Andrews aboard. The team was outraged at the antics of the owner.

Team Captain Sal Bando later said: "Andrews was no different in the World Series than he had been in the second part of the season. He just happened to make a couple of errors that day." The next day, an off day between Series games, the A's honored Andrews by taping a make shift #17 to their uniforms, during the work out at Shea Stadium.

According to player rep Reggie Jackson, some players threatened not to play in disgust of their teammate being humiliated. Not only did his players rally behind him, all of America followed the story and supported Andrews. The news came out in the media frenzy of New York City during a World Series, it was a major story.

Bowie Kuhn & Marvin Miller
The Head of the Players s Union, Marvin Miller, stepped in on Andrews behalf, so did baseball Commissioner Bowie Kuhn. Kuhn met with Andrews, after learning the whole story he personally had Finley reactivate Andrews instantly. He fined Finley (again) & made a public statement saying "the handling of this matter by the Oakland club has had the unfortunate effect on clearly embarrassing a player who has given many years of able service to pro baseball."

Manager Dick Williams finally had had enough of Finley’s antics, he had been quiet about the incident for two days but before Game #3 at Shea Stadium, he met with his team. He told his players behind closed doors he would be resigning at the end of the series "win, lose or draw".

The A's went out & won Game #3 in extra innings, Catfish Hunter believed the situation made the team play a bit harder. Sal Bando said all the hype made the A's forget they had to face Tom Seaver.

Andrews phoned Reggie Jackson & learned the team supported him 100%. He was now reactivated & joined the team in New York for Game #4, in which the Mets won 6-1.

Manager Williams showed Charlie Finley who was really in charge, shoving it in his face in the 8th inning when he sent Andrews up as a pinch hitter. The New York fans cheered giving Andrews a standing ovation for all his troubles. He grounded out to Wayne Garrett at third base and on his way back to the dugout, received another standing ovation. Finley sat in his box quietly, swallowing the moment giving a phony applause.

Andrews thanked New York in the press saying he was shocked; "I don't think I've ever had a standing ovation in my life. To me it meant everything."

Mike Andrews retired at the end of the season, in an eight year career; he was a lifetime .258 hitter with 803 hits 66 HRs 140 doubles 316 RBIs & a .353 on base %.
He played 787 games at second base (.973%) 39 games at first base & a few games at short as well as third base.

Retirement: He started the Mike Andrews baseball camp, along with his brother, former Major leaguer Rob Andrews. Andrews is the chairman of the popular Jimmy Fund charity in the Boston area since 1984

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