Neha Patil

1973 New York Mets season

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Record  82–79 (.509)
Manager  Yogi Berra
General manager  Bob Scheffing
Local radio  WEPN
Divisional place  1st
Start date  1973
Owner  Joan Whitney Payson
Local television  WWOR-TV
1973 New York Mets season mmlbcomassetsimages382141090382cuts1973m
Similar  1969 New York Mets season, 2000 New York Mets season, 1980 New York Mets season, 1999 New York Mets season, 1993 New York Mets season

The 1973 New York Mets season was the 12th regular season for the Mets, who played home games at Shea Stadium. Manager Yogi Berra led the team to a National League East title with an 82–79 record, the National League pennant and a defeat by the Oakland Athletics in the World Series. Their .509 winning percentage is the lowest of any pennant-winner in major league history as of 2016. The season was well known for pitcher Tug McGraw's catchphrase "Ya Gotta Believe!!!"

Contents

Offseason

  • November 1, 1972: Danny Frisella and Gary Gentry were traded by the Mets to the Atlanta Braves for Félix Millán and George Stone.
  • November 27, 1972: Brent Strom and Bob Rauch were traded by the Mets to the Cleveland Indians for Phil Hennigan.
  • November 27, 1972: Tommie Agee was traded by the Mets to the Houston Astros for Rich Chiles and Buddy Harris.
  • November 30, 1972: Dave Marshall was traded by the Mets to the San Diego Padres for Al Severinsen.
  • March 28, 1973: Bill Sudakis was traded by the Mets to the Texas Rangers for Bill McNulty.
  • It began with turmoil

    The 1973 Mets were much improved from their "miracle" 1969 team. They had a group of young proven stars—including Jon Matlack, Rusty Staub, John Milner, and Félix Millán—mixed in with veterans from the 1969 club, such as Jerry Grote, Cleon Jones, Wayne Garrett, and Bud Harrelson. Their pitching staff, led by Tom Seaver, was among the finest in baseball. But injuries hampered the Mets throughout the entire season.

    The Mets got off to a 4–0 start to the season, and were still at first place by April 29 with a 12–8 record. But then, injuries to their key players caused turmoil. By July 26, the Mets were in last place, yet still only 7 12 games behind. On August 16, they were 12 games below .500, with 44 games to play.

    On August 30, the Mets were in last place, with only a month left to play. However, the division was so tight-knit that that last place standing consisted of only a 6.5 game deficit. At the completion of August (one day later), the Mets were in fifth place, nine games under .500, but, in the balanced mediocrity of that year's Eastern Division, just 5 12 games out of first. The mathematical inequities of divisional play were beginning to show up. On September 11, the Mets were in fourth place, five games under .500, but just three games out. Ahead of them were the St. Louis Cardinals, Pittsburgh Pirates, and Montreal Expos.

    "You Gotta Believe!!!"

    With Tug McGraw urging his teammates on and celebrating victories with what soon became the catch phrase of 1973, "You Gotta Believe!!!" the Mets kept zigging and zagging away from would-be tacklers, and taking an occasional side-swipe, headed for this most unlikely of pennants. Down the stretch, Yogi Berra, veteran of many a pennant race, ran four starters at the league: Tom Seaver, Jerry Koosman, Jon Matlack, and George Stone, with the suddenly unhittable McGraw coming out of the pen with boisterous - and justified - confidence. (For his last 19 games, the screwball-throwing lefty showed 12 saves, 5 wins, and an ERA of 0.88).

    The unexpected clincher

    After sweeping a three-game series from the Pirates at Shea on September 21, the Mets' record stood at an even 77–77, but that .500 record was good enough for first place and a half-game lead. Illustrating just how dense the crowd was at the top, fifth-place Chicago was just 2 12 out. The Mets won five of their last seven to finish as National League East Division Champions. The Cardinals finished second, 1 12 games behind, Pittsburgh third at 2 12, Montreal fourth at 3 12, and Chicago fifth, 5 games out.

    This was the only NL East title between 1970 and 1980 not to be won by either Philadelphia Phillies or the Pittsburgh Pirates.

    Opening Day starters

  • Duffy Dyer
  • Jim Fregosi
  • Bud Harrelson
  • Cleon Jones
  • Willie Mays
  • Félix Millán
  • John Milner
  • Tom Seaver
  • Rusty Staub
  • Notable transactions

  • June 5, 1973: Lee Mazzilli was drafted by the Mets in the 1st round (14th pick) of the 1973 Major League Baseball Draft.
  • July 11, 1973: Jim Fregosi was purchased from the Mets by the Texas Rangers.
  • Starters by position

    Note: Pos = Position; G = Games played; AB = At bats; H = Hits; Avg. = Batting average; HR = Home runs; RBI = Runs batted in

    Other batters

    Note: G = Games played; AB = At bats; H = Hits; Avg. = Batting average; HR = Home runs; RBI = Runs batted in

    Starting pitchers

    Note: G = Games pitched; IP = Innings pitched; W = Wins; L = Losses; ERA = Earned run average; SO = Strikeouts

    Other pitchers

    Note: G = Games pitched; IP = Innings pitched; W = Wins; L = Losses; ERA = Earned run average; SO = Strikeouts

    Relief pitchers

    Note: G = Games pitched; W = Wins; L = Losses; SV = Saves; ERA = Earned run average; SO = Strikeouts

    Game 1

    October 6: Riverfront Stadium, Cincinnati

    Game 2

    October 7: Riverfront Stadium, Cincinnati

    Game 3

    October 8: Shea Stadium, New York City

    Game 4

    October 9: Shea Stadium, New York City

    Game 5

    October 10: Shea Stadium, New York City

    World Series

    AL Oakland Athletics (4) vs. NL New York Mets (3)

    Awards and honors

  • Cy Young Award – Tom Seaver
  • Jerry Koosman – Player of the Month, April 1973
  • All-Stars

    All-Star Game

  • Tom Seaver
  • Willie Mays
  • Farm system

    LEAGUE CHAMPIONS: Memphis

    References

    1973 New York Mets season Wikipedia


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