Remembering Mets History (1973 World Series) Game #3 - Tom Seaver &. Catfish Hunter Face Off at Shea Stadium


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


Carmen Berra cheers her husband Yogi's Team on



As the 1973 World Series moved east, there was so much excitement in New York City as the Mets returned home for the third game of the World Series. 

Trivia: This was the very first World Series night game in New York City history.

The series was tied up at one game each. 54,817 paid was the official attendance on a standing room only, crisp autumn night at Shea Stadium. 

After the rowdiness of some fans at the NLCS a record 1,000 police & extra security guards were put in place to keep order. Luckily there were no issues recorded.

Quotes- Wayne Garrett:
 "
The infield is in terrible shape. The grounds 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."

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

NBC who was covering the game knew the Mets were a big draw & wanted the prime-time audience. 

NBC Broadcasting Team for Game #3
Curt Gowdy, Lindsey Nelson & Tony Kubek
MLB Commissioner Bowie Kuhn agreed to have the official game time start at 8:30 pm. This was a late start back then the first time a World Series played a night game was just two years earlier in 1971.

Mets announcer Lindsey Nelson joined the NBC team of Curt Gowdy & Tony Kubek for the broadcast.

This was 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 did the best they could to make repairs to the turf & dirt areas.


The Mike Andrews Drama: The Oakland A's, a team always involved in controversy, were a major news story but not because of their play on the field. It was because of the incident after Game #2 in Oakland involving team, owner Charlie Finley & second baseman Mike Andrews.

Mike Andrews was brought in to play second base late in the game. He committed two errors on back-to-back plays in the 12th inning. After the game Finley had him sign a waiver claiming he was injured. This would enable him to go on the DL & have another player activated in his place.

The players were boarding the team bus to leave Oakland when the news got out. The A's players were furious enough to boycott the series in support of their teammate.

MLB Commissioner Bowie Kuhn stepped in as did Players Union boss Marvin Mitchell. They insisted Andrews was to be reactivated & would join the team the next night.

After many a team meeting, the A's decided to wear black armbands with Andrews' uniform number on their sleeves in his honor. 

A's Captain Sal Bando Answers Questions for NY Press

Dick Williams Resigns as Manager- Telling His
Team At Shea Stadium in Closed Door Meeting
Oakland manager Dick Williams was so fed up with the owner meddling with team affairs on the field, he chose to resign after the World Series win or lose. 

It was in the Shea Stadium club house before Game #3 that he notified his team of this decision. It was already being rumored that Williams was taking a job with the A.L. New York team. He would go to the Angels instead.

The press was having a field day covering the story & being in New York the whole thing blew up even more. A's team Captain Sal Bando denied rumors that they were boycotting the Series. Reggie Jackson told the press he supported Andrews all the way. Many of the players voiced their negative opinions on Finley.

Tonight's pitchers would be Tom Seaver & Jim "Catfish" Hunter in a marquee matchup

As for the game itself, it was a marquee pitching matchup showcasing the two best pitchers in baseball.  

The A's sent Jim Catfish Hunter (21-5 / 3.34 ERA / 124 Ks) to the mound. Hunter had gone 2-0 in the ALCS allowing just three runs to the Orioles in 16.1 innings, striking out six walking five. 

In the 1972 World Series he also won two games 2-0 allowing five runs in 16 innings to the Cincinnati Rds. 

For the Mets, that years NL Cy Young Award winner, Tom Seaver (19-10 / 2.08 ERA / 251 Ks) was to make his third career World Series start. 

In the NLCS Seaver went 1-1 allowing three earned runs while striking out 17 Reds in 16.2 innings of work. He was the winning pitcher in the clincher Game #5.


As for the pregame festivities on the field, the first manager in Mets history, 
Casey Stengel-"The Old Professor" was on hand to throw out the ceremonial first pitch. 

Casey Stengel was seated in MLB Commissioner Bowie Kuhn's box as he tossed the pitch to Mets catcher Jerry Grote.





It was apparent from the start that Tom Seaver's fastball would be electric on this night. He overpowered the A's batters in an almost record fashion.

In the 1st inning, Bert Campaneris started out the game by popping up in foul ground to Jerry Grote. 

Seaver then allowed a double to Joe Rudi. But he then struck out Sal Bando swinging & got Reggie Jackson looking to end the inning.

Hunter had a rough start but settled down to be just as hard on the Mets hitters.

Wayne Garrett Hits Mets Leadoff HR

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 as he had hit one off Vida Blue in the 3rd inning of Game #2 in Oakland.

Trivia:
 This was the second time in a Mets batter led off a World Series Game #3 with a HR.
Tommie Agee had done it in 1969. Len Dykstra would also do it in the 1986 World.

After Garrett's HR, Felix Millan singled into left field. With the hit & run on Rusty Staub slapped a hit thru the hole at short. The Shea fans began their "Let's Go Mets" chants & began to get excited.

With two on & no one out, Cleon Jones came up. Catfish Hunter threw a wild pitch into the dirt that caromed into the dugout allowing Felix Millan to score from third with the Mets second run.

The Mets had Hunter on the ropes early with a chance to blow the game open, but they failed to make the kill.

Catfish slowly settled in, striking out Cleon Jones. John Miner then bounced one off the plate that Hunter couldn't handle. Milner was safe, there were two men on with one out. 

But Hunter then struck out Jerry Grote & got Don Hahn to line out to centerfield to end the inning. 

In the top of the 2nd inning, Seaver blew away the A's striking out the side getting Gene Tenace, Vic Davalillo & Ray Fosse. He had struck out five batters in a row, one shy of a World Series record.


In the bottom of the 2nd, Hunter issued a two out walk to Wayne Garrett, but Felix Millan 
lined.
out to end the inning.  

In the top of the 3rd, Dick Green grounded out & Catfish lined out to Hahn in centerfield. Bert Campaneris singled with two outs, but Seaver got Joe Rudi to ground out to Harrelson. 

Trivia: The 3rd inning was the only inning, Seaver pitched that he did not strike out at least one batter.

In the home 3rd, Rusty Staub flew out, then Cleon Jones grounded to Bando at third base. Hunter walked John Milner. 



Trivia: John Milner would reach base safely in every 1973 post season game.
 
Then Jerry Grote grounded out to end the inning. 

In the top of the 4th, Bando lined out to left field. Seaver then struck out Reggie Jackson for the second time on the night.

With two outs, Seaver walked Gene Tenace, then Vic Davalillo bounced one in front of the plate. Jerry Grote's throw pulled John Milner off the bag as he dove & saved the ball from going past him. The speedy Davalillo reached safely. 

Ray Fosse hit a chopper to short that Bud Harrelson charged & fired quickly to first to get the out to end the inning.

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


Wayne Garrett was walked intentionally. Felix Millan then hit a bouncer down the third base line that Sal Bando couldn't handle, he reached on an infield hit to load the bases for Rusty Staub. But Staub hit a comebacker to the mound, ending the inning. 

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

In the Mets 5th, after Cleon Jones was retired, John Milner hit a rocket down the right field line, that just missed being a HR but it bounced off the foul pole into Reggie Jackson's glove & was just a long single.

Jerry Grote & Don Hahn both flew out to Joe Rudi in left field. The score remained 2-0 Mets.

In the top of the 6th, Seaver ran into trouble for the first time. It began when Joe Rudi hit a deep fly ball to left center field, that Dohn Hahn leaped up against the wall to make an outstanding catch to save a hit.


The next play wasn't as lucky, Sal Bando hit a shot over Hahn's head to straight away centerfield, that went for a double. Hahn had misplayed the ball & was confused in centerfield due to the fact that some of the outfield turf had been removed along the warning track, then placed in the infield to make up for the damage done by the fans after the NLCS victory.

Quotes-Don Hahn: "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, Tom Seaver struck out Reggie Jackson for the third time on the night. 

Trivia: It was Seaver's tenth strike out of the night, the second time in as many 1973 post season outings he reached double figures in Ks.

But then Gene Tenace doubled down the left field line, bringing in Sal 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. Tom Seaver came to bat to nice applause his couldn't execute a sacrifice & struck out.

Felix Millan drilled a liner to left center
field, but
Vic Davalillo snagged it with a running catch.

In the top of the 7th inning, Dick Williams sent up three straight pinch hitters. First Pat Bourque hit a fly ball to the right field warning track that Rusty Staub caught. 

Then Jesus Alou grounded out & then Seaver struck out Deron Johnson to end the inning. It was Seaver's 11th strike out on the night.

 In the bottom of the 7th, Catfish Hunter's night was over, he had given up two runs on seven hits, striking out five walking three in six innings of work.  

A's reliever Darold Knowles (6-8 / 9 saves / 3.09 ERA) came in to pitch for the A's. It was his third appearance he would set a record appearing in all seven series games.

In the inning, Rusty Staub lined out to Rudi in left. Cleon Jones grounded out for out number two. John Milner then drew his second walk of the game, but Jerry Grote ended the inning grounding out to Campy at short.

In the top of the 8th, Bert Campaneris led off with a base hit & then stole second base. The play was close & Felix Millan though he had him but through a cloud of dust second base umpires Russ Goetz called him safe. 

The moment lives forever in a Topps baseball card.

Joe Rudi then delivered a base hit to right field, tying up the game as Campaneris easily crossed the plate. Sal Bando sacrificed Rudi to second. 



Mets manager Yogi Berra came out to the mound for a conference with Seaver, Jerry Grote & Bud Harrelson. Seaver convinced him he was staying in the game.
 

Seaver got Reggie Jackson to fly out to centerfield, making Jackson 0-4 against him on the night. Seaver then struck out Gene Tenace for his 12th strike out of the night.

It was his last inning of the night, Seaver left the game after eight innings, allowing two runs on seven hits, one walk & twelve strike outs. 

After all, would be said & done, the two best pitchers in baseball delivered as advertised. Both pitchers exited in a tie & neither would figure in the final decisions.

In the bottom of the 8th, Darold Knowles had an easy inning. Don Hahn grounded out to Campaneris at short for the first out.

Bud Harrelson then hit a bloop to short left field that was caught by Joe Rudi charging in by the foul line.

Lastly, pinch hitter Jim Beauchamp lined out to Rudi in left. 

Trivia: Joe Rudi set a new World Series record with seven put outs in left field.

Darold Knowles would pitch two scoreless innings, giving up no hits & one walk.

In the top of the 9th, veteran Ray Sadecki (5-4 / one save / 3.39 ERA) making his second World Series appearance was in to pitch for the Mets. 

Vic Davalillo reached on an error by Felix Millan at second base. Then Pat Bourque dragged a bunt that got past John Milner charging from first base, putting two men on with no one out. 

Dick Williams put in his pinch runner, Allan Lewis. Mets manager, Yogi Berra went to the bullpen & brought in Tug McGraw (5-6 / 25 saves / 3.87 ERA). 

It was his third appearance after pitching six innings of relief in Game #2 on Sunday.

As Mets organist played her traditional Irish gig as Tug McGraw warmed up, the TV cameras showed Cleon Jones throwing up in left field, apparently sick.

Tug McGraw did his job once again. First, he fielded Ted Kubiak's bunt & threw to third base nailing Vic Davalillo at third base.



Tug McGraw All Fired Up
Next McGraw struck out pinch hitter Angel Mangual looking at a third strike. He then got Bert Campaneris to fly out to Hahn in center to end the inning. 
 

The Shea crowd roared & cheered for McGraw as he tapped his glove on his upper thigh. When he got to the dugout, he jumped up & down in excitement cheering on his teammates.

In the bottom of the 9th, Dick Williams brought in Paul Lindblad to pitch (1-5 / two saves/ 3.69 ERA). Wayne Garrett led off & popped out to short. Felix Millan fouled a ball off that shook up catcher Gene Tenace. 

After play resumed Tenace stayed in the game & Millan grounded out to Campaneris for the second out. 

The Oakland outfield gave Rusty Staub a big gap between left & center field thinking he was going to pull the ball to right.

But Staub took advantage of the situation & drove a liner into that left center field gap. The ball bounced over the fence or the slow footed Staub may have gotten a triple. It was ruled a ground rule double.

Cleon Jones was intentionally walked. But John Milner flew out to right field to end the inning. It was onto extra innings in a fantastic, Fall Classic nail bitter.



In the top of the 10th, Joe Rudi lined out for the first out. Then Sal Bando hit a shot off the left field wall, Cleon Jones played it perfectly threw to second where Felix Millan was covering wide of the bag. 

He dove over to tag Bando who came in sliding & kicked the ball loose. Bando was safe at second. McGraw got Reggie Jackson to ground out to second, moving Bando to third base.

The Mets intentionally walked Gene Tenace, who reached base for the third time on the evening. McGraw then got Vic Davalillo to fly out to right field, ending the threat & the inning.

In the bottom of the 10th inning, Paul Lindblad stayed in the game. He got Jerry Grote & Don Hahn to both ground out to second base. Then Bud Harrelson singled to right field with his second hit of the night. It was Bud's fifth hit of the series.

Yogi Berra then sent in Willie Mays to pinch hit & the Shea crowd gave him a standing ovation as he was introduced. This was to be the final at bat of his Hall of Fame career. 

Mays grounded into the hole at short stop, Campaneris fielded it & got Harrelson on a close force play at second base. It was the third out & the inning was over.



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

McGraw pitched two scoreless innings allowing a hit, a walk & struck out one.

A's pitcher Paul Lindblad came to bat & led off with a line drive out to Bud Harrelson. Ted Kubiak then drew a walk.

Parker struck out Angel Mangual but the ball got away from catcher Jerry Grote for a passed ball & Mangual reached first safely.

Angel Mangual Strikes Out but the Ball Gets by Jerry Grote
Quotes-Jerry Grote:
" the ball had been scuffed on one side & had been sailing, apparently Harry had turned the ball around without 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."

Grote had been behind the plate for almost three hours & had caught every inning of the four hours plus 12 inning epic on Sunday. This turned out to be a most costly error. 




With two men on, Bert Campaneris came to bat & delivered once again, singling into centerfield. Ted Kubiak scored from third base in what turned out to be the game's winning run.

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

Trivia: Campaneris had hit safely in every post season game for Oakland up to that point going 12-37 batting .324 with 2 HRs, a triple, a double, two walks seven runs scored, six stolen bases & a .943 OPS.

This was his fifth hit of the series & was batting .313 up to that point.



In the bottom of the 11th, Lindblad came out for another inning of work. But when Wayne Garrett led off with a single, Dick Williams removed him for his bullpen star, Rollie Fingers (7-8 / 22saves / 1.92 ERA). 

Lindblad had a fine outing, allowing no runs on three hits & a walk in two innings of work. He was the game's winning pitcher. In his career he pitched in three post seasons making six appearances, this being his only win (1-0).

Felix Millan sacrificed Garrett over to second base. Rollie Fingers then got Rusty Staub to fly to center field. Cleon Jones grounded out to short & the game was over. It was a heartbreaking 3-2 loss for the Mets in another exciting game.

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