Remembering Mets History (1973): World Series Game #3 - Tom Seaver vs. Catfish Hunter At Shea

Tuesday, October 16th 1973 World Series Game #3
Shea Stadium, Queens New York

There was so much excitement in New York City as the Mets returned home for the third game of the World Series. 54,817 was the official attendance on a crisp autumn Tuesday night at Shea Stadium. 

Pitcher Jerry Koosman said "I'll be sitting in the dugout, and the crowds will get going and I'll feel a chill up and down my spine."

Pre Game Meeting At Home Plate

NBC Broadcasting Team For Game #3
Curt Gowdy, Lindsey Nelson & Tony Kubek

Mets Radio Broadcaster: Bob Murphy Prior to
Game Three of 1973 World Series
The official game time was 8:30 PM, because NBC wanted the prime time audience. MLB Commissioner Bowie Kuhn agreed. The late start was a new thing back then, especially since the fist World Series night game was played just two years before.

This was also the first game back at Shea Stadium, since the fans had torn it up a week earlier at the conclusion of the NLCS win over the Cincinnati Reds. The grounds crew worked as hard as they could to make repairs to the turf & dirt areas, but it was a tough job.

Quotes: The infield is in terrible shape," says Met Third Baseman Wayne Garrett. "The ground crew works as hard as it can, but no money is put into it. The infield is sinking.

Everybody knows that the grass part of an infield is supposed to be higher than the dirt part. Here it's the other way around. Unless you get a ball on a long hop you're in trouble."

A's Captain Sal Bando Answers Questions for NY Press
The Oakland A's, never strangers to controversy, were in the middle of major news stories. 

In Game #2, Dick Williams had brought in veteran infielder; Mike Andrews to play second base late in the game. This was a common practice for the A's who usually replaced regular second baseman Dick Green during the course of a game. 

Andrews was charged with two errors in the same inning & after the game was forced to sign a waiver that he was injured.

This came down from owner; Charlie Finley, in hopes of activating infielder Manny Trillo in his place.

The news got out & it was top baseball news. Eventually the Commissioner stepped in as did Players Union boss Marvin Mitchell. 

Andrews was to be reactivated & would join the team the next night.

Dick Williams Resigns as Manager- Telling His
Team At Shea Stadium In Closed Door Meeting
The A's players wore black armbands with Andrews uniform number on their sleeves in his honor. It was in the Shea Stadium club house they had a team meeting & decided to support their player, although team Captain; Sal Bando denied rumors that they were boycotting the Series.

It was also on this night, that A's Manager; Dick Williams announced to his team, that he was completely fed up with Finley's medaling & would be resigning at the end of the Series, win or lose. It was even being rumored that Williams was taking a job in New York with the A.L. NY club. 

As for the actual game, Mets had evened up the Series in Game Two & had their Cy Young Award winner Tom Seaver (19-10 / 2.08 ERA / 251 Ks) going up against the A's top pitcher; Catfish Hunter (21-5 / 3.34 ERA / 124 Ks) in a marquee billing. These were two of the top pitchers in the game at the time & there was a lot of anticipation over the match up.

Casey Stengel & Commissioner Bowie Kuhn
The Old Professor; Casey Stengel, the first Manager in Mets team history, was on hand to throw out the ceremonial first pitch to the delight of the crowd. Stengel was in Commissioner Bowie Kuhn's box tossing the pitch to Jerry Grote.

Oakland Athletics       New York Mets
1Bert CampanerisSS
1Wayne Garrett3B
2Joe RudiLF
2Felix Millan2B
3Sal Bando3B
3Rusty StaubRF
4Reggie JacksonRF
4Cleon JonesLF
5Gene Tenace1B
5John Milner1B
6Vic DavalilloCF
6Jerry GroteC
7Ray FosseC
7Don HahnCF
8Dick Green2B
8Bud HarrelsonSS
9Catfish HunterP
9Tom SeaverP

Tonight Tom Seaver's fastball would be electric, as he overpowered the A's batters in an almost record fashion.

After getting Bert Campaneris to foul out the start the game, Seaver allowed a double to Joe Rudi. But he then struck out Sal Bando (swinging) & Reggie Jackson (looking) to end the inning.

In the second inning, Seaver struck out the side & then did it again in the 5th inning, giving him nine Ks up to that point, already.

Wayne Garrett Hits Mets Leadoff HR
Hunter had a rough start, but settled down to be just as hard on the Mets hitters.

In the bottom of the 1st inning, Wayne Garrett led off with a HR, blasted to deep right field. It was his second homer of the World Series, he had hit a HR off Vida Blue in the 3rd inning of Game Two in Oakland.

Trivia: It was the second time in Mets history, that a Mets batter led off a World Series; Game #3 with a HR. Tommie Agee had done it in the 1969 World Series against the Baltimore Orioles. 

Len Dykstra would accomplish the feat again in the 1986 World Series, against the Boston Red Sox.

After Garrett's HR, Felix Millan & Rusty Staub both dove base hits to left field. Then with Cleon Jones up, Hunter threw a wild pitch allowing Millan to score with the Mets second run.

The Mets had Hunter on the ropes & could have blown the game open, but failed to make the kill.

Catfish settled in, striking out Jones. He then made an error on a John Miner ground ball & had two men on with one out. But he struck out Jerry Grote & got Don Hahn to line out to centerfield. 

In the top of the 2nd inning, Seaver struck out the side, getting Gene Tenace, Vic Davillio & Ray Fosse.

Hunter allowed a two out walk to Wayne Garrett in the 2nd but that was it, as Felix Millan lined out.  

In the top of the 3rd, Campaneris singled with two outs, but Seaver got Joe Rudi to ground out. 

It was the only inning, Seaver pitched that he did not strike out at least one batter.

In the home 3rd, Hunter walked John Milner with two outs, but Jerry Grote grounded out to end the inning. 

In the 4th, with two outs, Seaver walked Gene Tenace & Vic Davillio singled. But Seaver got Ray Fosse to ground out to Bud Harrelson to end the inning.

In the bottom of the 4th, Don Hahn hit a ground rule double down the left field line. Then Bud Harrelson flew out & Tom Seaver struck out. 

Wayne Garrett was walked intentionally & then Felix Millan got aboard with an infield hit to load the bases for Rusty Staub. But Hunter got Staub to ground out back to the mound, ending the threat & the inning. 

Seaver was on fire, he struck out the side in the top of the 5th. Through the first five innings, Seaver already had nine strike outs.

In the Mets 5th, John Milner hit a rocket down the right field line, that just missed being a HR, instead it bounced off the foul pole into Reggie Jacksons glove & was just a long single.

Milner would be left stranded on first base, as Jerry Grote & Don Hahn both flew out tp left field. The score remained 2-0 Mets.

In the A's 6th inning, Seaver ran into trouble. First, Joe Rudi hit a deep fly ball to left center field, that Dohn Hahn jumped against the wall for, making an outstanding catch  to save a hit.

The next play wasn't so lucky. Sal Bando hit a shot over Hahn's head to straight away centerfield, for a double. Hahn had misplayed the ball & looked a bit confused in center field.

The reason being that some of the outfield turf had been removed along the warning track & was put in the infield to make up for the damage done by the fans after the NLCS.

Hahn, who was use to his position in center at Shea Stadium, was thrown off by the longer warning track.

Quotes: Don Hahn said later: "I was playing deep, but not deep enough. I played the warning track. What should have been, wasn't. The ball dropped for a double. After the game Seaver told me he knew about the field being changed, but forgot to tell me about it."

Next, Seaver got Reggie Jackson to strike out for the third time on the night. But then Gene Tenace doubled down the left field line, bringing in Bando with the A's first run of the night, making it a 2-1 game.

In the bottom of the 6th, Bud Harrelson led off with a base hit but was stranded as Hunter struck out Seaver & Garrett. Felix Millan drilled a liner to left center field, but Vic Davillio snagged it with a running catch.

The A's sent up three straight pinch hitters in the 7th inning. First Seaver got Pat Bourque to fly out, then Jesus Alou to ground out & then ended the inning striking out Deron Johnson. It was Seaver's 11th strike out on the night. 

A's reliever, Darold Knowles (6-8 / 9 saves / 3.09 ERA) came in to pitch for the A's. It was his third appearances in three Series games. Knowles would pitch two innings, giving up just one walk, holding the Mets scoreless.

In the top of the 8th, Bert Campaneris led off with a single & then stole second base, on a close play through a cloud of dust. The moment lives forever in a Topps baseball card.

Joe Rudi then delivered for Oakland, with a base to right field, tying up the game as Campaneris crossed the plate, it was a 2-2 game. Sal Bando sacrificed Rudi to second. 

After a conference on the pitchers mound, Seaver convinced manager Yogi Berra he was staying in the game. Seaver got Reggie Jackson to fly out to centerfield & then struck out Gene Tenace for his 12th strike out of the night.

The Two best pitchers in baseball were both done on the night, and neither would earn a decision. 

Seaver left the game after eight innings, allowing two runs on seven hits, one walk & twelve strike outs. Hunter had pitched six innings allowing two runs, on seven hits with three walks & five strike outs.

In the top of the 9th Ray Sadecki (5-4 / 1 save / 3.39 ERA) was in to pitch for the Mets. Vic Davallio reached on an error by Felix Millan & then pinch hitter, Pat Bourque singled, putting two men on with no one out. 

The A's put pinch runner, Allan Lewis in to run. Manager, Yogi Berra went to the bullpen & Tug McGraw (5-6 / 25 saves / 3.87 ERA).

McGraw got the next three A's out in order; first he nailed Davillio at third base on a bunt attempt by Ted Kubiak. 

The Shea Crowd cheered, next McGraw struck out pinch hitter Angel Mangual & then got Campaneris to fly out.

In the bottom of the 9th, Dick Williams brought in Paul Lindblad to pitch (1-5 / 2 saves/ 3.69 ERA). Garrett popped out to shirt &  Millan grounded out to Campaneris for the second out. 

Tug McGraw All Fired Up
Rusty Staub then hit a ground rule double, deep in the left center field gap. Cleon Jones was intentionally but then John Milner flew out to right to end the inning. It was onto extra innings in a fantastic, nail bitter.

In the 10th, McGraw after Joe Rudi lined out, McGraw allowed a single to Sal Bando, he advanced to second on an error. McGraw got Reggie Jackson to ground out, moving Bando to third.

The Mets intentionally walked Gene Tenace with two outs. McGraw then got Vic Davillio to fly out right field, ending the inning.

In the bottom of the 10th, Grote & Hahn both grounded out to second base. Then Bud Harrelson had two out single. 

Berra then sent in Willie Mays & the crowd gave him a standing ovation when he was introduced as a pinch hitter. 

It was to be the final at bat of his Hall of Fame career. 

Mays grounded out to short stop Bert Campaneris, the force was made at second base, inning over.

Harry Parker Pitches the 11th
In the 11th inning, Harry Parker (8-4 / 5 saves / 3.35 ERA) came on to relieve Tug McGraw for the Mets. 

Tug had pitched two innings in Game One & six innings on Sunday in Game Two. 

The A's pitcher; Paul Lindblad led off, he lined out to Bud Harrelson for the first out. Then second baseman, Ted Kubiak drew a walk.

Angel Mangual Strikes Out but the Ball Gets by Jerry Grote
Angel Mangual then struck out for the second out, but the third strike got away from catcher; Jerry Grote for a passed ball.

Quotes: Jerry Grote: " the ball had been scuffed on one side & had been sailing, apparently Harry had turned the ball around with out realizing it & the ball went in the other direction a little bit. And being a little bit on the tired side at this stage of the game, I just couldn't react quick enough to catch ball."

This was the 11th inning & Grote had been behind the plate all night long. It turned out to be a most costly error. Bert Campaneris came to bat & once again delivered. 

He singled to centerfield, scoring Kubiak in what would be the winning run.

Campy was thrown out at second trying to stretch it to a two base hit, for the third out, but the damage was done.

In the bottom of the 11th, Lindblad was still on the mound. Wayne Garrett led off with a single. 

Dick Williams then went to his ace reliever; Rollie Fingers. Felix Millan sacrificed Garrett to second base. Fingers then got Rusty Staub to fly to center field & Cleon Jones to ground out. The game was over, with the Mets taking a heartbreaking 3-2 loss.


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