It’s 2018 and that means it’s the 45th anniversary of the 1973 National League Champions New York Mets! What better way to honor them but with a fresh new Mets Quiz as we inch closer to the start of Spring Training!
Forty different players appeared in at least one game for the Mets in 1973, 24 of them were hitters and 16 of them pitchers.
However only 18 of them logged 100 or more plate appearances that season and that includes one pitcher.. Some guy named George Thomas Seaver who led the team with a 10.4 WAR and won the Cy Young award for his Herculean efforts that year.
But what about those other 17 players, many of whom were key contributors to that unforgettable World Series run? How many of them can you name? Put on your thinking caps and see if you can name them all in 4 minutes.
We interrupt this broadcast…
An MMO 1973 Flashback
Here’s a vintage photo from Sports Illustrated of Game 3 of the 1973 World Series against the Oakland Athletics. It’s the eighth inning and the A’s just tied the game at 2-2 with Joe Rudi on first base and no outs.
Yogi Berra slowly walks to the mound and was ready to bring in his big lefty Tug McGraw who was warmed up and waiting for the call. A tense conversation ensues between Yogi and his ace righthander, but Seaver talked his skipper into leaving him in the game despite the dangerous 3-4-5 hitters due up for Oakland. You could cut the tension with a knife, but you should have heard that packed Shea Stadium as it roared its approval when Yogi walked back to the dugout.
Tom Seaver stood tall on the mound, then he wiped the sweat from his brow, bore down, and proceeded to get All Star Sal Bando and AL MVP Reggie Jackson out on a sacrifice grounder and a shallow popup. Wow… But the notorious A’s clutch hitter Gene Tenace was up next with the winning run Joe Rudi now standing at second base.
When Tenace swung and missed on that 2-2 rising fastball, the crowd erupted and stood on their feet as Seaver nodded his head and walked back to the dugout like a conquering warrior. Seaver’s night was done, having allowed just two runs and striking out 12 in his eight innings of work.
However, the damage was done and the game was now knotted at 2-2, and for those who remember, this would end up being an excruciating and shocking extra-innings loss for the Amazins.
The winning run crossed the plate for the A’s when leadoff hitter and six-time All Star Bert Campaneris lined a soft single to center with a runner on second. The speedy Campaneris then surprised everyone by trying to stretch it into a double and got caught in a rundown.
At the same time, Ted Kubiak came screaming around third and sprinted all the way home as a stunned Felix Millan finally tagged Campaneris for the final out – But not before the winning run scored. What a punch in the gut.
Campaneris was always causing chaos whenever he was on base and his three stolen bases against the Mets in the series all led to decisive runs including his swipe in the eighth inning of this game when he scored the tying run against Seaver.
The Mets did have a chance to tie the game in the bottom of the 11th, but unfortunately they failed to score Wayne Garrett from second base, and the A’s took a two games to one lead in the series. Hall of Fame closer Rollie Fingers picked up the save.