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Thread: Willie Mays in 1973 World Series

  1. #1

    Willie Mays in 1973 World Series

    I saw ESPN's Sportscentury on Willie Mays and they showed him badly misplaying two fly balls in centerfield in a World Series game in 1973. It was painful to watch because he shouldn't have been in that sitaution. I believe Yogi Berra was the manager of the Mets then. Wasn't there someone else he could've played center? Put Mays in right field if you have to. Bill Rigley even played him some at first base his last year in San Fransisco.

  2. #2
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    Yeah, Mays looked bad there. Plus, that on the knees begging photo was embarassing as well - probably made so because he was done.

    Mays also caught a ball towards the end of the season and flipped it to another outfielder so he could throw to third for a play - which was too late because of the extra time taken to do so.

    Articles from '73 say that Mays played when Mays wanted to and that he was a personal favorite of team president Grant so he did as he liked.

    Mays even disappeared during games without Berra even knowing. On 9/11/1973 Mays was at home during the game apparently waiting on a call from the team doctor. Berra knew nothing about it until during that game a note (which had crossed quite a few hands) was handed to Berra stating that Mays had sore ribs. This was an embarassment to Berra as he was asked by reporters prior to the game where Mays was and all he could do is say, "I don't know." Seems that Mays did do as he pleased.

    Rusty Staub ran into the outfield wall in the final playoff game which opened a hole in the outfield for Mays.

  3. #3
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    I was there at those games and it remains one of the saddest things I've seen in baseball. My personal baseball hero looking ridiculous in the field is a memory I'd love to block but can't.
    “Well, I like to say I’m completely focused, right? I mean, the game’s on the line. It’s not like I’m thinking about what does barbecue Pop Chips and Cholula taste like. Because I already know that answer — it tastes friggin’ awesome!"--Brian Wilson

  4. #4
    Quote Originally Posted by bkmckenna View Post
    Yeah, Mays looked bad there. Plus, that on the knees begging photo was embarassing as well - probably made so because he was done.

    Mays also caught a ball towards the end of the season and flipped it to another outfielder so he could throw to third for a play - which was too late because of the extra time taken to do so.

    Articles from '73 say that Mays played when Mays wanted to and that he was a personal favorite of team president Grant so he did as he liked.

    Mays even disappeared during games without Berra even knowing. On 9/11/1973 Mays was at home during the game apparently waiting on a call from the team doctor. Berra knew nothing about it until during that game a note (which had crossed quite a few hands) was handed to Berra stating that Mays had sore ribs. This was an embarassment to Berra as he was asked by reporters prior to the game where Mays was and all he could do is say, "I don't know." Seems that Mays did do as he pleased.

    Rusty Staub ran into the outfield wall in the final playoff game which opened a hole in the outfield for Mays.
    The knees photo never bothered me. Harrelson was called out at the plate and mays was pleading with the ump.
    The 73 Mets outfield was banged up in the WS. Staub and Cleon Jones played but were hurt. Aside from Mays, centerfield consisted of such immortals as Don Hahn and George Theodore. Mays played in Game 2, and had just a few at bats in that series.
    Mays has always said that the press gave him those final two years in NY.

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    he was an old man what do you expect?

  6. #6
    Quote Originally Posted by blackout805 View Post
    he was an old man what do you expect?
    To not have him on the field when he shouldn't have been there. You don't expect mlb players in the world series to make errors like that, regardless of age.
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  7. #7
    Quote Originally Posted by Captain Cold Nose View Post
    To not have him on the field when he shouldn't have been there. You don't expect mlb players in the world series to make errors like that, regardless of age.
    That's quite a statement. Errors are part of the game. Runs, Hits, Errors. See the scorebord. It defies logic to expect flawless play mearly becaues its the WS.

    Should Buckner have been dropped from the roster in '86 because he couldn't bend down ? Should Gibson have been left off the roster in '88 because he couldn't walk ? Oh, wait - he had one of the most memorable moments in WS history ! Should Ruth have been left off all subsequent WS rosters because he ended one by being caught stealing ?

    How can you not expect to see errors and mistakes in a WS ?

  8. #8
    Quote Originally Posted by whoisonit View Post
    That's quite a statement. Errors are part of the game. Runs, Hits, Errors. See the scorebord. It defies logic to expect flawless play mearly becaues its the WS.

    Should Buckner have been dropped from the roster in '86 because he couldn't bend down ? Should Gibson have been left off the roster in '88 because he couldn't walk ? Oh, wait - he had one of the most memorable moments in WS history ! Should Ruth have been left off all subsequent WS rosters because he ended one by being caught stealing ?

    How can you not expect to see errors and mistakes in a WS ?
    Not really what I was saying. Mays in 1973 was simply not a good option and should not be given a pass for his errors because he was an "old man".

    You and I have gone back and forth over differering views on blackout's comments before. Honestly, we don't need to.

    And, uh, yes, Buckner should have been nowhere near the field in the 10th inning of Game 6 in the 1986 World Series. But that's only one factor as to why the Red Sox lost that game.
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  9. #9
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    He said "expect errors like that."

    Do you expect very good players to make catastrophically bad errors? I expect an error or two. A base overthrown. A moderately difficult catch dropped. No one on the planet should possibly have expected an error like Buckner's. In the same way, I don't think anyone should have expected Willie Mays to fall over in the outfield. How often do you ever see that? Let alone from possibly the best player at the position.

  10. #10
    Quote Originally Posted by Scoops View Post
    He said "expect errors like that."

    Do you expect very good players to make catastrophically bad errors? I expect an error or two. A base overthrown. A moderately difficult catch dropped. No one on the planet should possibly have expected an error like Buckner's. In the same way, I don't think anyone should have expected Willie Mays to fall over in the outfield. How often do you ever see that? Let alone from possibly the best player at the position.
    Mookie was going to beat him to the bag.

    I also remember Keith Hernandez falling down in the 1998 playoffs against the Dodgers. Going from second to third, he fell down and crawled on all fours to the third base bag. Granted the field was wet, but my point was that these things do happen to everyone.
    Felix Millan in 73 Game 1 let a ball go right through his legs. I remember reading that it hadnt happened to him all year. Tim Tuefel did the same thing in 86 Game 1

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    Mays was the best option Berra had because Mays was the best defensive outfielder the Mets had in 1973... …before Mays got hurt. Mays range factor when playing the outfield that year was 2.33 against a league range factor of 1.96. Bobby Bonds, Cesar Cedeno, and Willie Davis won the gold gloves in the National League that year. Their range numbers follow:
    Bobby Bonds – 2.27
    Cesar Cedeno -2.70
    Willie Davis – 2.40
    RF leaves a lot to be desired when evaluating defense, but Mays raw defensive stats stand up as well
    TC 106
    PO 103
    Errors 1
    Did he misplay the balls in the sun…yes. Look bad, yes. I’m sure I don’t need to remind anyone that Mays had the game winning hit off a pretty good pitcher named Rollie Fingers later in the same game witth men on 1st and 3rd with two outs.
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    Chris Rock

  12. #12
    Quote Originally Posted by Scoops View Post
    He said "expect errors like that."

    Do you expect very good players to make catastrophically bad errors? I expect an error or two. A base overthrown. A moderately difficult catch dropped. No one on the planet should possibly have expected an error like Buckner's. In the same way, I don't think anyone should have expected Willie Mays to fall over in the outfield. How often do you ever see that? Let alone from possibly the best player at the position.
    Theres a clip somewhere on youtube of Mays making a gracefull, leaping, amazing catch at an oldtimers game around 1980. Does that mean he should have been still on somebody's roster ?

    Players make errors. Players fall down. No big deal. I've always felt the charges of Mays embarrasing himself were outlandish. This stuff happens, regardless of age or setting.

    He tripped. He did not embarass himself. It was not an outrage that he was on the roster. There were alot of kids in New York, myself included, who were overjoyed the great Willie Mays had come home. He looked great in orange & blue. He should have played in '74 too.

  13. #13
    Quote Originally Posted by whoisonit View Post
    Theres a clip somewhere on youtube of Mays making a gracefull, leaping, amazing catch at an oldtimers game around 1980. Does that mean he should have been still on somebody's roster ?

    Players make errors. Players fall down. No big deal. I've always felt the charges of Mays embarrasing himself were outlandish. This stuff happens, regardless of age or setting.

    He tripped. He did not embarass himself. It was not an outrage that he was on the roster. There were alot of kids in New York, myself included, who were overjoyed the great Willie Mays had come home. He looked great in orange & blue. He should have played in '74 too.
    Based on what bkmckenna said, do you think Yogi would have agreed about Mays coming back?
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    Wow. I am actually shocked that there are two people here who expect players to make not just errors, but catastrophic errors.

    I accept that it happens. I have never, ever - in my life - EXPECTED a major league baseball player to fall down while doing a regular task.

    Why do I feel like I'm giving English lessons today?

  15. #15
    Quote Originally Posted by Captain Cold Nose View Post
    Based on what bkmckenna said, do you think Yogi would have agreed about Mays coming back?
    That's a good question.

    Berra was an accidental manager on this team, so I don't think he had the clout to agree or not.

    But to answer your question, I don't see any reason why he would fight it, if Mays wanted to come back. I haven't heard that Berra put personal grudges ahead of the best interests of the teams he managed. Did he have a history of that ? (I don't know). In fact the only person I'm aware of his disparaging was Stienbrenner, who could probably have gotten the Pope himself to trash talk him in those days.

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    Quote Originally Posted by whoisonit View Post
    Theres a clip somewhere on youtube of Mays making a gracefull, leaping, amazing catch at an oldtimers game around 1980. Does that mean he should have been still on somebody's roster ?

    Players make errors. Players fall down. No big deal. I've always felt the charges of Mays embarrasing himself were outlandish. This stuff happens, regardless of age or setting.

    He tripped. He did not embarass himself. It was not an outrage that he was on the roster. There were alot of kids in New York, myself included, who were overjoyed the great Willie Mays had come home. He looked great in orange & blue. He should have played in '74 too.
    This is why it is still remembered today. Mays was at the end of his career and it was in the World Series.
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  17. #17
    Quote Originally Posted by Scoops View Post
    Wow. I am actually shocked that there are two people here who expect players to make not just errors, but catastrophic errors.

    I accept that it happens. I have never, ever - in my life - EXPECTED a major league baseball player to fall down while doing a regular task.

    Why do I feel like I'm giving English lessons today?
    If you are including me as one of the people who EXPECT this to happen, you are wrong.
    I am simply stating that it does happen sometimes, even in the post season.
    A few others I thought of are Willie Davis making two errors in one inning in the 1966 WS, and Pepitone losing the ball in the sun in the 63 WS. Both of those incidents cost the game, but the Series were sweeps so its not like they lost the Series because of that one play.
    How about Marianos throwing error in Game 7, 2001, there is another.

  18. #18
    Quote Originally Posted by Scoops View Post
    Wow. I am actually shocked that there are two people here who expect players to make not just errors, but catastrophic errors.

    I accept that it happens. I have never, ever - in my life - EXPECTED a major league baseball player to fall down while doing a regular task.

    Why do I feel like I'm giving English lessons today?
    It wasn't a catastrophic error. It put the A's back in the game, but the Mets won the game...and Mays was the guy who delivered the GWH.

  19. #19
    Quote Originally Posted by sandy1 View Post
    It wasn't a catastrophic error. It put the A's back in the game, but the Mets won the game...and Mays was the guy who delivered the GWH.
    Game 2, the Mike Andrews game???

  20. #20
    Quote Originally Posted by parlo View Post
    Game 2, the Mike Andrews game???
    Hi Parlo
    yes game two. Mays came up with a man on 1st and third two out. Knocked one thru the box to put Mets ahead 7-6. I think it was Mays last hit of his career. He later scored from second on the 1st of Andrew's two errors that inning. That would put the Mets up 8-6. I pulled the box score from retrosheet.

    ATHLETICS 11TH: Campaneris grounded out (third to first); Rudi
    struck out; Bando struck out; 0 R, 0 H, 0 E, 0 LOB. Mets 6,
    Athletics 6.

    METS 12TH: Harrelson doubled; On a bunt McGraw singled
    [Harrelson to third]; Garrett struck out; Millan popped to
    first; Mays singled to center [Harrelson scored, McGraw to
    second]; Jones singled to left [McGraw to third, Mays to
    second]; LINDBLAD REPLACED FINGERS (PITCHING); Milner reached on
    an error by Andrews [McGraw scored (unearned) (no RBI), Mays
    scored (unearned) (no RBI), Jones to third, Milner to second];
    Grote reached on an error by Andrews [Jones scored (unearned)
    (no RBI), Milner to third, Grote to first]; Hahn grounded out
    (third to first); 4 R (1 ER), 4 H, 2 E, 2 LOB. Mets 10,
    Athletics 6.

    ATHLETICS 12TH: Jackson tripled; Tenace walked; STONE REPLACED
    MCGRAW (PITCHING); Alou singled to right [Jackson scored, Tenace
    to second]; Fosse forced Alou (shortstop to second) [Tenace to
    third]; Andrews walked [Fosse to second]; DAVALILLO BATTED FOR
    LINDBLAD; Davalillo popped to second; Campaneris grounded out
    (shortstop to first); 1 R, 2 H, 0 E, 3 LOB. Mets 10, Athletics
    7.

    Final Totals R H E LOB
    Mets 10 15 1 15
    Athletics 7 13 5 12

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