The ’73 Mets File: Miracle At Shea (Lulu Press)
A day-by-day chronicle of the 1973 New York Mets pennant winning season. Including profiles of star players Tom Seaver, Tug McGraw, Cleon Jones, Willie Mays and Rusty Staub. Each game in the historic season is described in detail. Also includes a chronology and bilbliography.
Before you get bored to death with another Cardinals vs Angels World Series why not pause and remember the days when teams took the game more serious…had extremely low salaries (by todays standards) and never gave up. Such was the case with the 1973 Mets….pulverized by their opponents for much of the season, derided by critics as spoiled media darlings…they neverless pulled off the greatest season comeback in baseball history and by mid-October had almost even taken the World Championship from a very good Oakland A’s ballclub.
Pictured above is one Daniel Joseph “Rusty” Staub …Le Grande Orange…one of the classiest and nicest guys to ever play the game. He had a great hitting style…a lot like Keith Hernandez. Rusty had power and could spray hits to the opposite field. He had a strong throwing are too. He had calm and reassuring presence in the clubhouse. In ’73 he kept the entire team on track playing in 152 of the Mets 161 games that season despite himself recovering from a serious wrist injury the year before. Although the injury bug hit quite a few Mets that season Rusty was not knocked out until Game 4 of the NL Playoffs (we had yet to rename it the anal sounding League Championship Series..hahah) when he crashed into the wall making a spectacular catch on October 9th. Even with a bashed up shoulder, which forced him to throw the ball underhand(!).[watching this in some of the video that exists of the 1973 World Series is very Charlie brown-esque)..good ole Rusty still manged to blast a .429 average in the World Series. Rusty was a real MVP that season, even though Rose got (and deserved) the MVP Award that season.
Willie Mays of course was out of gas by 1973 (Although he did hit .333 in the playoffs and .278 in the Series). Still -just his presence made the Mets connect to their ancestoral link with the Giants and significantly with Mays’ first club the 1951 Giants. Like the 1973 New York team their 1951 counterparts made a miracle dash for the pennant that ended with Bobby Thomson’s “Shot Heard Round the World” on October 3rd, 1951. One week and 22 years later Mays would close out his career with a choppy single of the Reds Clay Carroll in the pennant clinching game of 1973.
Although it is more than now 40 years since the days of the ’73..they will forever be my team! I was a bit too young to appreciate 1969 as it happened and the ’86 Mets were great for other reasons….the ’73 Mets were real…(unfortunately so were the A’s..heheh)