By Steve Keane at 11 March, 2013, 3:55 pm
I haven’t seen nor heard anything pertaining to the NY Mets having a day/night to honor the 1973 NL Pennant winners. I really hope that there is something in the works to bring back the surviving members of that team for a celebratory remembrance. It would an awful shame to let this 40th Anniversary of the “Ya Gotta Believe” Mets go unnoticed by the organization the ’73 team’s season for its comeback ability should be given be revered and honored just like the ’69 and ’86 champions as the Ya Gotta Believe mantra of Tug McGraw was no showboat move it was what had this team come together to have one of the great runs not just in Mets history but baseball history as well.
The ’73 Mets were awful from May to July winning 32 games and losing 49 with the low make of the season coming on July 4th when the Mets found themselves 12.5 games behind the first place Chicago Cubs in the NL East. July was still a bad month for the team as they put up a dismal 12-18 record but from August on the Mets went 49-22 while all the other NL East teams went into the dumper no team hit the skids worse than the Cubs who went an astonishing awful 30-52 during that stretch.
This team was no offensive juggernaut that’s for sure with Rusty Staub the leading hitter driving in 76 runs on 12 HR and a .781 OPS. John “The Hammer” Milner lead the team with 23 HR and 72 RBI and surprisingly Wayne Garrett hit 16 HR as well. The club was in the bottom third of every offensive statistic in the league that year except for Walks where they had the 6th best rate in the NL.
What ran this Mets team in ’73 was the pitching especially a solid stable of left-handed pitching plus The Franchise. Jerry Koosman, Jon Matlack and George Stone supported the Ace Tom Seaver in the rotation , one of the best in baseball that year, along with swing man and veteran pitcher Ray Sadecki and of course their Fireman (that’s what the closer was known as back then) Tug McGraw.
1973 was also the swan song or Willie Mays who after a few embarrassing missteps in centerfield knew it was “time to say good bye to America”.
How great would a day at Citi Field be to honor this Pennant winning Mets team by having Willie Mays, Yogi Berra, Rusty Staub, Jerry Grote, Wayne Garrett , Ed Kranepool and of course The Franchise, Tom Seaver etc. on the field for a pre-game ceremony?
Please, please, please we cannot let this anniversary go without a day of remembrance. It’s already a big disappointment that a Salute to ’73 day is not on the season calendar already.