Have We Forgotten 1973?

Last week the Mets released the full promotion schedule for the upcoming 2013 season.  All the usual suspects were there: bobblehead giveaways tied into the All-Star Game; the rescheduled Banner Day; Fireworks Nights (2 this year!).

What I was looking for though was not there – some recognition of the 40th Anniversary of the 1973 team.

You remember that team, don’t you?

They won the National League East (1 of only 5 Mets teams to do so).


They won the NLCS by beating the Big Red Machine in 5 games (1 of only 4 Mets teams to win the NL ttitle).


They lost to the Oakland A’s in seven games.

Still nothing?

How about this.  They were the team that inspired the phrase Ya Gotta Believe!

Oh that you do remember.

As soon as I noticed the omission I tweeted it out (from @dtwohig), and it was retweeted by @metspolice.  The response? One retweet and no comments. Makes me wonder if we’ve forgotten, or even care about the 73 team.

Look, it’s understandable. That 73 team was not the best team the Mets have ever had. They weren’t among the top 5 teams in Mets history.  In fact, based on record, there were 20 seasons that ranked better than the 73 season.  In 6 of them the team even finished 3rd

But the 73 team did something that only 3 others did – they won the National League and played in the World Series. If you are reading this, I’m assuming you are a Mets fan so you do know how rare that is.

Something else to think about.  That 73 team had 3 Hall of Famers associated with it – Tom Seaver on the mound, Willie Mays in center, and Yogi Berra managing in the dugout.  By contrast the 69 team only had 2 (Seaver and Nolan Ryan). And that 86 team? Just 1 (Gary Carter).

This franchise doesn’t have a lot of shining moments in the 51 seasons they have played ball.  One member of that 73 season – the inspirational leader in many ways – has already passed away.  (Of course I’m talking about Tug McGraw).  If the Mets wait until 2023 for the 50th Anniversary of that team I fear others will be missing as well.

Don’t let this year pass without doing something to recognize that scrappy, over-achieving team.

Ya Gotta Remember!

Not @mediagoon’s Mets Bobbleheads #20: John Franco
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8 Replies to “Have We Forgotten 1973?”

  1. Agree and spoke about this team in a earlier post. NY was still an NL town at the time and the interest was big in this team..Mr. Berra did an outstanding managing job but there were many injuries and McGraw was having an off year until Yogi started him in a game in Atlanta that summer….no big program of lets stretch him out for starting, he just started and did a great job and that got the team and Tug rolling…who could forget the Myas trade and the HR 1st AB v SF on Mothers Day? How about the Ball on the Wall trick with Cleon Jones getting Dave Augustines Drive off top surface of the wall and throwing a runner out at plate?
    September was great the anthesis of 2007-8 every game was clutch and then they clinched on a Monday in rainy Chicago after winning 1st game of resceduled DH day after season ended. A clutch team which could have won 90ish games if not for injuries. Berra was great and Mcgraw was as well…he is close to a HOF reliever and would be valued much differently today.

  2. The ’73 Mets team was also notable for the most famous fight in Mets history. During the NL Championship series with the Big Red Machine from Cincy, Pete Rose took out Bud Harrelson with a tough slide into second base and the two of them went at it. Then, when the inning ended and Rose went to left field, the fans at Shea pelted him with anything they could find to throw. They had to stop the game, the Reds left the field and Willie Mays and some other Mets had to walk into left field and calm the fans down. It was almost a forfeit. A great game though and a great series. The Mets were huge underdogs but took the Reds down and went to face Charley Finley’s A’s in the World Series.

  3. Typical Wilpon Mets. Anything that costs, they won’t do. Wouldn’t it be great to honor the 1973 team and finally retire the number that year’s manager wore on his back? It ain’t over ‘tll it’s over, Mets Police.

  4. saw every single game that year as I was working at shea…my favorite team of all time..they had spirit and determination. a shame they are not remembered

      1. i worked for the parks dept. I repaired the original wooden seats throughout the season..i worked there from 73-77 part time.

  5. You’re telling me, Dan. I have a book coming out about the 1973 team and that remarkable year across baseball (Swinging ’73). You can imagine my disappointment that the team ignores the team that represented its last gasp of competitiveness for 13 years (the ’75 and ’76 teams had winning records but were never in the race). ’73 is a great season; I think it’s as big an underdog story as 1969, in that the ’69 team had a solid record while the ’73 club was last until the end of August and then made a move for the ages. Since you won’t, sadly, see much about it at Citi, you can read about it here. Forgive the plug, but it’s not like the team to help. http://www.amazon.com/Swinging-73-Baseballs-Wildest-Season/dp/0762780606/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1362410223&sr=1-1&keywords=swinging+73

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