Oct 12, 2016

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.

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