Below are more headlines from the 1973 baseball season, including the highs and lows of the year's postseason play.
Pedro Borbon a Joy in Cincy
Always a crowd-pleaser, reliever Pedro Borbon would show off during pregame practice by throwing strikes from the center field warning track. He pleased the Reds in 1973, collecting an 11-4 record and 14 saves. He capped off his best season with a win and a save in the 1973 National League Championship Series.
Tom Seaver Loses Game One of National League Championship Series
Homers by Pete Rose and Johnny Bench defeated Tom Seaver by a score of 2-1 in the first game of the 1973 National League Championship Series. The Mets ace bounced back in game five, keeping the Reds scoreless after they tied the game at two-all in the top of the fifth inning, to lead the Mets to the flag.
Mets Triumph in National League Championship Series
When Pete Rose slid into shortstop Bud Harrelson in the fifth inning of game three of the 1973 National League Championship Series, it started a brawl between Rose and Harrelson that cleared both benches and incited attendees in the left-field stands to pelt Rose with garbage. Neither team scored any more runs after the incident, as New York defeated Cincinnati 9-2.
Sal Bando Does Double Duty for the A's
Sal Bando proved to be a leader for Oakland both on and off the field in 1973. Following the forced benching and "firing" of Oakland reserve infielder Mike Andrews, Bando distributed black armbands tagged with "17" (the number Andrews wore) to his teammates. His protest flew in the face of team owner Charley Finley and endeared him to fans. During the regular 1973 season, Bando topped the American League with 32 doubles. In World Series action that fall, Bando scored five runs.
Ken Holtzman Measures Up
Christened "The New Koufax" while a 20-year-old rookie in 1966, lefty Ken Holtzman bore the burden of comparison with Sandy Koufax. Although Holtzman seemed to be headed to record-setting seasons as a Cub -- a 9-0 record in 1967, a no-hitter against Atlanta in 1969, another no-hitter in 1971, a 19-11 record in 1972 -- it was with the A's that he secured lasting fame. He won 21 games for the A's during the 1973 season, took the third contest of the ALCS with an 11-inning complete game, and won games one and seven of the 1973 World Series.
Tug McGraw, Rollie Fingers Shine in 1973 Series
The two bullpen aces of the 1973 World Series, Tug McGraw of the Mets and Rollie Fingers of the A's, were also two of the game's most spirited characters. McGraw voiced the rallying cry of "Ya Gotta Believe" while flapping his glove on his thigh after each of his 25 saves in 1973. In Series action, he posted one win, one save, and 14 strikeouts in 132/3 innings. The mustache-twirling Fingers compiled a 1.91 ERA over the season and a 0.66 mark over the Series.
Rusty Staub Takes Game Four on a Dinger
A legend in Montreal, where he was known to fans as "Le Grande Orange," Rusty Staub played a key role for the Mets in 1973 postseason play. After hurting his shoulder crashing into Shea Stadium's right-field wall in the fourth game of the playoffs, Staub was given cortisone shots and had to throw underhanded in the World Series. He nevertheless hit an opposite-field home run off Oakland's Ken Holtzman to win game four.
Find highlights from the 1973 baseball season on the next page.