Ya' Gotta Believe: 50th Anniversary
Fifty years later, and it’s still hard to wrap your head around what the New York Mets accomplished that 1973 season.
After getting swept in a doubleader by the St. Louis Cardinals on August 5, the Mets were in last place, 11 1/2 games (48-60) behind in the National League East.
One-by-one the injuries piled up throughout the summer and the team was scuffling, both on the field and in the clubhouse. The media quoted players disdain for their manager, Yogi Berra. Still, ownership held the line.
By mid-August the team began getting healthy and Tug McGraw started the now famed rally cry, “Ya’ Gotta Believe!”
Despite still being in last place on September 1, the Mets had cut into the Cardinals lead and trailed by just 6 1/2 games. The division title was within reach and the Mets were gaining momentum led by Tom Seaver, Jerry Koosman, Jon Matlack, and George Stone. McGraw was unhittable down the stretch. In 19 appearances in September, he chalked up 12 saves, fives wins and an 0.88 ERA.
The Mets pulled to within three games of the division lead by September 11. Ten days later, on September 21, the Mets completed a three-game sweep of the Pittsburgh Pirates to reach the .500 mark (77–77) and took a one-half game lead in the division. The Mets won five of their last seven and clinched the NL East title on October 1 at Wrigley Field.
No one gave the Mets much of a chance to beat the heavily favored Cincinnati Reds in the postseason. Again, the team defied the odds and knocked off the Reds in five games to advance to the World Series.
It took all seven games, but the Mets fell one game short of a World Series title. Their were a lot of twists and turns throughout the season and MetsRewind will chronicle the season day-by-day all season long.
Next stop: Opening Day 1973.
We hope you will join us as we rewind to 1973 and rediscover some magical moments in Mets history. Thanks for your support of MetsRewind.