The 1973 World Series matched the defending champion Oakland Athletics against the New York Mets, with the A's winning in seven games to repeat as World Champions.
The New York Mets won the National League East division by 1 ½ games over the St. Louis Cardinals then defeated the Cincinnati Reds, three games to two, in the National League Championship Series. The Oakland Athletics won the American League West division by six games over the Kansas City Royals then defeated the Baltimore Orioles, three games to two, in the American League Championship Series.
New York Mets
The 1973 Mets' .509 season winning percentage was (and through 2008 remains) the lowest posted by any pennant-winner in major league history. Under the comparatively new divisional play system, the Mets found themselves back in the World Series, but with a much weaker team than in their legendary 1969 championship season.
Stumbling through the summer in last place, the Mets got hot in September as the rest of the National League East collapsed, ultimately winning a mediocre division with a mere 82 victories. The final standings:
1 New York Mets 82 79 .509 -
2 St. Louis Cardinals 81 81 .500 1½
3 Pittsburgh Pirates 80 82 .494 2½
4 Montreal Expos 79 83 .488 3½
5 Chicago Cubs 77 84 .478 5
1969 holdovers Bud Harrelson, Jerry Grote, Tom Seaver, Jerry Koosman, and Tug McGraw joined forces with the Mets' farm-system alumni John Milner and Jon Matlack and trade-acquired Rusty Staub, Felix Millan, and Willie Mays, now 42 years old. Don Hahn and Mays alternated in center field, although they both batted right-handed.
The Mets' National League playoff opponents: an imposing Cincinnati Reds squad that posted 99 victories during the regular season, was the favorite to return to the Series for a second consecutive year. (The Reds had fallen to the A's in the previous year's Series.) The 1973 NLCS went the full five games, and featured a now-famous brawl between the barrel-chested Pete Rose and the w...