Remembering Mets History (1973 World Series) Game #2 - Mets Win Wild 12 Inning Classic


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

Rusty Staub would be in today's line up

1973 NBC World Series Game #2 Broadcasters
Curt Gowdy, Monte Moore & Tony Kubek


In Game #1 of the 1973 World Series, it was all about pitching as the A's took the 2-1 win. Sunday's Game #2 would be played in the bright California sunshine with a noon start time. The sun field had a big impact on the outfielders trying to see fly balls. It accounted for at least two Mets errors.

The game turned out to be a classic, loaded with controversies, come from behind rallies, good pitching, key hitting & Hall of Fame players. Legendary NBC Broadcaster Curt 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 A's fans were taking heat from the players who said the fans that did show up for Game #1 were too quiet in the stands. The game was not a sellout as attendance had always been a problem, even with all the great teams of that A's Dynasty.  49, 151 fans came out to watch the Oakland A's take on the New York Mets for Game #2. 

The A's were dressed in their traditional Sunday home white uniforms today. Before the game, A's owner Charlie Finley who had invited as many Hollywood folks as possible he could to his party, had the one & only Bob Hope throw out the first pitch from his private box. 

The A's ball girls were on hand to retrieve foul balls & give an occasional refreshment to the umpires. Tennesse Ernie Ford sang the National Anthem & it was gametime.




The starting pitchers were Mets 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). 

In the NLCS Koosman pitched the exciting Game #3 win allowing two runs on eight hits with nine strike outs & no walks. He was 3-0 with a 5.20 in the postseason up to that point in his career.

Vida Blue was the ALCS Game #1 loser giving up four runs & never getting out of the 1st inning in the 6-0 loss to the Orioles. He also made a Game #4 start, giving up four runs in 6.1 innings in another A's loss.





In the top of the 1st, Vida Blue started out strong he struck out Wayne Garrett & Felix Millan, then got Rusty Staub to ground out.

In the bottom of the 1st, Jerry Koosman got leadoff man Bert Campaneris to ground out to Bud Harrelson to start his day. Next, Joe Rudi hit a fly ball to the wall in left field that Cleon Jones lost in the sun & fell for a double. 

A's Captain Sal Bando then tripled into the gap in right centerfield scoring Joe Rudi. Koosman then struck out Reggie Jackson but walked Gene Tenace. Tenace had drawn 101 walks during the regular season. With two out & two on, Jesus Alou singled down the left field line, bringing in Sal Bando to make it 2-0 A's.

Koosman then intentionally walked Ray Fosse & struck out Dick Green to end the long inning.

In the top of the 2nd, the Mets responded as one of the Mets hottest hitters down the stretch; Cleon Jones hit a HR to right field putting New York on the board making it 2-1. 

Trivia: This was Jones' third hit of the series. It was his first career World Series HR, as he had hit a HR in the 1969 NLCS.

The Mets then went down in order to end the 2nd.

In the bottom of the 2nd, Koosman struck out Vida Blue, then Bert Campaneris who would pester the Mets all series, hit a shot to the right centerfield gap. 

The speedy Campaneris made a triple out of it. Because of Rusty Staub's injured shoulder he had to give way to Don Hahn to make the long throw in. 

With the Mets playing the infield in, Joe Rudi singled up the middle bringing in Campy to make it 3-1 A's. Koosman struck out Sal Bando with a hard slider to end the inning.

In the top of the 3rd Vida Blue struck out Bud Harrelson to start the inning, then Jerry Koosman grounded to Bando at third. 

With two outs, Wayne Garrett, who hit 16 HRs on the regular season, blasted a solo HR to right field, Narrowing the A's lead to 3-1.

In the bottom of the 3rd, Reggie Jackson grounded out, but then Gene Tenace drew his second walk of the day. Jesus Alou then singled to right field. Ray Fosse then reached on an error when Jerry Koosman fielded a bouncer then threw wild of second pulling Felix Millan from the bag. 



Mets manager Yogi Berra had seen enough he went to the mound & removed Kooz bringing in Ray Sadecki 
(5-4 / one save / 3.39 ERA / 87 Ks in 116 innings). 

Koosman, the Mets best post season pitcher in team history, did not have it on this day, he gave up three runs on six hits walking three & striking out three in 2.1 innings of work.

Berra came to the mound & brought in veteran Ray Sadecki.  Sadecki inherited the bases loaded with one out.

With the bases loaded the A's put the squeeze play on but Dick Green couldn't get the bat on the ball. 

This resulted in Gene Tenace getting caught up in a run down between third base & home plate. He was tagged out by John Milner for the second out.

Sadecki then struck out Dick Green to end the threat.

In the top of the 4th, Blue after Bud Harrelson flew out, Cleon Jones singled to center. John Milner it a line drive but it was caught by Alou in right. Jerry Grote then reached on a Sal Bano error at third with two out Don Hahn lined out to right field to end the inning. Blue was out of another jam.

In the bottom of the 4th inning, Sadecki struck out Vida Blue & Bert Campaneris, he then got Joe Rudi on a comebacker to the mound retiring the side in order. In 1.2 innings of work, Ray Sadecki gave up no runs, no hits & struck out three in a fine relief performance.


In the top of the 5th, the lanky, George "the Stork" Theodore made his post season debut, pinch hitting for Sadecki & grounded out to Campy at short. Wayne Garrett drew a walk but was stranded as Felix Millan grounded out to end the inning.

In the bottom of the 5th, Mets reliever Harry Parker (8-4 / 5 saves/ 3.35 ERA) gave up a one out single to Reggie Jackson but then got Gene Tenace to ground out into an inning ending double play.


George "the Stork" Theodore makes his World Series debut


In the top of the 6th, after Rusty Staub struck out, Cleon Jones reached base for the third straight time in the game, drawing a walk.  John Milner who had two hits in Game #1, then singled into right field. 

With the Mets threatening, Oakland manager Dick Williams lifted Vida Blue & brought in the side arm throwing Horatio Pina (6-3 / 8 saves/ 2.76 ERA).

Next up, Mets catcher Jerry Grote was hit on the hand with a pitch. There was concern for a serious injury, since Grote had broken his wrist in the same spot earlier in the year. Trainer Tom Mckenna came out to attend to Grote with Yogi Berra looking on.


Cleon Jones Scores on Don Hahn's Infield Hit
The tough catcher grunted & snarled taking his base shrugging off his manager Berra & the trainer.

Next, Don Hahn hit a short grounder to Sal Bando at third base. Bando tried to bare hand it but came up empty. Cleon Jones who broke on contact scored to tie the game up at 3-3. 

Shortstop Bud Harrelson then singled into right field scoring John Milner & the Mets were ahead 4-3. The Mets NLCS hero would have three hits on the day.

Yogi Berra sent up pinch hitter Ed Kranepool, but as he was announced A's manager 
Dick
Williams countered & brought in Darold Knowles (6-8 / 9 saves / 3.09 ERA). 

Yogi responded sending Jim Beauchamp into bat for Ed Kranepool.  

Beachamp then hit a hot grounder back to Knowles the pitcher, a perfect double play ball.

But Knowles botched the play & threw wildly to home plate, in the vast Oakland Coliseum, with the largest foul territory area in all of baseball, Jerry Grote & Don Hahn were both able to score putting the Mets ahead 6-3. 

The wild four run inning saw the Mets send ten men to the plate, as they collected three hits, drew two walks had a hit by pitch & a big Oakland error.

Jerry Grote having a rough day gets shaken up on a foul ball as Reggie Jackson looks on

Tug McGraw pitches Six Innings of Relief
Mets relief star Tug McGraw came on to pitch in the bottom of the 6th. McGraw would pitch for an amazing six innings relief as this game would go in to extra innings. 

In the 6th, Tug McGraw retired the side in order, striking out pinch hitter Angel Mangual to end the inning.

In the top of the 7th, with one out the Mets threatened as Milner reach base again with a walk. Jerry Grote then singled to left field. But Darold Knowles then struck out Don Hahn & Bud Harrelson flew out to left to end the inning.

In the A's 7th, Tug McGraw hit Bert Campaneris in the helmet with a pitch. Campy was dazed but stayed in the game. McGraw a bit wild & shaken up himself the waked Joe Rudi. Campaneris then stole third base as McGraw struggled. 

Don Hahn Singles
McGraw did get Sal Bando looking at a slow screwball for out number two. Then Reggie Jackson, who collected his second hit of the day, as he doubled bled into right center field breaking out of his slump. Campy scored to make it a 6-4 Mets lead.  McGraw then struck out Tenace to end the inning.

In the top of the 8th, John "Blue Moon" Odom came on to pitch the for Oakland & retired the side in order.  

In the bottom of the 8th Tug McGraw retired the A's in order getting ground ball outs from Jesus Alou, Ray Fosse & pinch hitter Mike Andrews. Andrews would soon become one of the most talked about players in the World Series. 

In the top of the 9th, Rusty Staub singled into centerfield. Willie Mays was brought in to pinch run for him. John Milner then singled but Mays lost his footing rounding second & couldn't advance any further. Jerry Grote then popped out to Bando in foul territory for the second out. Don Hahn grounded out to Campy at short to end the inning.

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


Pinch hitter Deron Johnson, hit a fly ball to Mays in center field. But Mays lost the ball in the sun, then stumbled & Johnson had a lead off double. 

It was heartbreaking for all America, to watch the once great Willie Mays, maybe the best center fielder to ever play the game, fumble in the outfield.

Next, Alan Lewis, the teams official designated runner, came in to pinch run. 

Trivia: Alan Lewis known as "the Panamanian Express" was a track star & only used as the team's official pinch runner. Lewis was the idea of controversial A's team owner Charlie Finley who oved using him. But the A's players didn't feel Lewis earned a spot on the post season roster for just running.

McGraw struck out Bert Champaneris for the first out. Joe Rudi then hit a hard grounder to Wayne Garrett playing the line at third base, he knocked it down & made the out. But with two outs, McGraw walked Sal Bando. 

With two on, Reggie Jackson who now was swinging a hot bat, collected his third hit of the day, as he singled between first & second just past John Milner scoring Alan Lewis, bringing the A's within a run. Next, Gene Tenace then singled into left field bringing in Bando to tie the game at 6-6.

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

In the top of the 10th, Reggie Jackson went to his position in right field & got a standing ovation from the fans out there. Reggie always loving the attention acknowledged them with a wave. A's manager Dick Williams brought in Rollie Fingers (7-8 / 22 saves / 1.92 ERA) to pitch for Oakland.


Fingers with his handlebar moustache, would eventually get into the Hall of Fame with his
remarkable career. He, along with Tug McGraw were two of the best relievers in baseball & now sharing the spotlight against each other in the World Series. This was the dawning of the age of relievers, as they were becoming more important in their roles & becoming stars in their own light.

Bud Harrelson collected his second hit of the day, as he singled to start the inning. Tug McGraw successfully sacrificed Buddy over to second. Next Wayne Garrett hit a bouncer to Gene Tenace who made a great play when the ball hit the bag, but his throw pulled Fingers who was covering off first base. Garrett was safe & Harrelson advanced to third base.

Now with two on, Felix Millan just missed an extra base hit with a foul ball down the first base line. 

Controversial Play: Next was one of the most remembered & controversial plays in Mets post season history. 

Felix Millan hit a flyball to short left field, Bud Harrelson got ready & tagged up at third base. 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.



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. But 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. 

Mets Manager Yogi Berra Comes Out
 To Argue Play with Umpire Augie Donatelli
The Mets went wild, on deck batter Willie Mays fell to his knees with arms raised out, asking how you could miss the call. It is one the Series' most famous scenes. 

Cleon Jones was seen jumping up & down yelling at Donatelli around home plate. The batter Felix Millan & on deck hitter John Milner who all were around the plate area to see the play argued as well.

Mets Manager Yogi Berra who was wearing a microphone for the MLB film, came storming out of the dugout screaming "He never touched him. You Missed the damn thing. You were expecting him to slide".

Bud Harrelson jumped in the air & rolled around on the ground. He jumped up & ran back to the home plate area, yelling "you can't throw me out for your inadequacy". 

Mets third base coach Eddie Yost joined the contingent at home plate arguing the call & trying to keep Harrelson back as to no one have him ejected. 

Berra, arguing with plenty of beeps to keep out the curse words, is heard insisting to know "where did he tag him, where did he tag him" . The umpire Donatelli replied "right here on the beep" as he tapped Yogi on his butt.

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

Bud Harrelson was in the spotlight once again. In the NLCS it was his fight with Pete Rose that was center stage, now this play put him front & center again. The little, short stop was in the middle of everything!

from centerfield: I had a chance to talk with Bud Harrelson years later & he told me that Fosse missed him & never tagged him. Donatelli had fallen down on the play, because he was in the wrong position to make the call & couldn't adjust.




With a bit of humor in his delivery, Fosse who became an A's broadcaster stated during a Mets/ A's game some forty years later that he may have touched a uniform thread.

Tug McGraw seemed to get stronger & more effective, as he went on. He retired seven in s row over the next two innings in the 10th he struck out Fosse to start the inning then got Mike Andrews looking at a third strike. 

Rollie Fingers flew out to short centerfield to end the inning. In the 11th, Bert Campaneris grounded out, then he struck out Rudi & Bando.

In the top of the 12th, Bud Harrelson led off with a double to right center field. It was Harrelson's third hit of the day. Tug McGraw who was still in the game, reached on a bunt base hit that went passed a charging Sal Bando at third base. 

Willie Mays then stepped up to the plate and got what turned out to be the last hit of his career.

Quotes- Wille 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 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.”

Mays' hit 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.

The Mike Andrews Saga Begins:
This bizarre epic of a game would get filled with more drama, as one of the A's secondary players would become infamous overnight. Reserve infielder, Mike Andrews, had come into the game in the 8th inning as a defensive replacement to play second base. This was something the A's did often replacing Dick Green at second base late in games.


As the wild 12th inning continued, John Milner hit a ground ball to second that went through Andrews legs & into the outfield. Tug McGraw & Willie Mays both came into score giving the Mets a 9-6 lead.

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


Both plays were scored E4- errors on Mike Andrews. Somewhere in his box seat, A's owner Charlie Finley was having a raging fit.

After the game, Finley was so furious he called Andrews into his office as the team was boarding the bus. The team doctor was also on hand for the meeting. Finley bullied Andrews into signing a release form claiming he was injured in order to place him on the injured reserve list. 

Eventually the new broke & the A's players were livid. The team rallied behind their teammate & threatened to possibly forfeit the Series. They would wear black armbands in Game #3 with Andrews' uniform number on it in his support.

A's Manager Dick Williams was so fed up with Finley's interfering with the team & player operations that he announced to his club, win or lose he would not be back to manage in 1974. That team meeting was held in Shea Stadium's visiting clubhouse on Tuesday night. 

By that time, MLB Commissioner Bowie Kuhn, as well as the head of the Players Union, Marvin Mitchell had both got involved. Charlie Finley was instructed to place Mike Andrews back on the active roster. 

The story became national headlines & the top story of travel day of the World Series. It set the stage for three classic nights at Shea Stadium.

In the bottom of the 12th, Tug McGraw now in his sixth inning of relief work, began to tire. He allowed a leadoff triple to Reggie Jackson. Jackson's fly ball to center was misplayed by Mays who seemed to have lost the ball in the sun. Reggie's big day included four hits, a triple & a double & two RBIs.
 
McGraw then walked Gene Tenace. Yogi Berra came out & McGraw admitted he was out of gas. George Stone (12-3 / 2.80 ERA) was brought in to close out the game.

Stone who was sensational for the Mets during the regular season, was making what turned out to be his only World Series appearance. But that's another story!

Stone quickly gave up a base hit to Jesus Alou, Jackson scored making it 10-7.  

He got Ray Fosse to ground out to Harrelson at short, erasing Alou on the force for the first out. Next, Mike Andrews drew a walk which loaded the bases. The tying runs were on base & the go-ahead run was at the plate.

Pinch hitter Vic Davalillo popped up to Millan at second for the second out.  out to Millan. Stone then then got the pesky Campaneris to ground out to Bud Harrelson to end the long game & earn the save.

The Mets evened the series winning the crazy game 10-7, heading back to New York at home in Shea Stadium for tree night games.

Trivia: The game took four hours & thirteen minutes to play. It was the longest World Series game played up to that point. 


Trivia: The two teams also tied a World Series record at the time using 11 pitchers combined in the game. The Oakland A's used six pitchers & a total of 21 players in the contest. The Mets would use five pitchers & a total of 17 players. The A's made five errors in the game & the Mets made one error.

Quotes- Willie Mays:
"I know a lot of funny things happened out there today but if you told me a month ago, we'd be here today, I'd say no way."

Quotes- Yogi Berra: " I like where we're going- home. I'll settle for that, home with three games in our own part."

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