METS FANS SHARE THEIR MEMORIES OF THE OCTOBER 8, 1973 GAME:
January 17, 2001
As a young (11 years old) Mets fan in 1973, I got the thrill of my life when my father told me that I was going to attend that day's playoff game against the Cincinnati Reds. At the time, a friend of my father, Stanley Binger, worked as a host in the Diamond Club restaurant at Shea Stadium, so the plan was that he would be taking me into the game and I would be sitting by myself in the lodge section just outside the Diamond Club area (imagine a mother allowing THAT to happen today!). I was being supervised to some degree by one of the ushers, who Mr. Binger obviously trusted with my well being. Even though I was a rather shy eleven year old, I certainly couldn't pass up the chance to see my heros play The Big Red Machine in a playoff game, so if I had to sit in a big stadium amongst thousands of complete strangers, then so be it!
It was a wonderful game as the Mets jumped out to an early 9-2 lead. All of a sudden, in the fifth inning, everyone around me jumped to their feet and roared. Since I was so small I was unable to see what was happening with all the adults standing up around me. I asked the man next to me what was going on, and he told me that Pete Rose was beating up Bud Harrelson. I remember saying, "He can't do THAT!" I also remember vividly, Willie Mays and Yogi going out and pleading with the fans in the left field stands to stop throwing things at Rose, or the Mets would have to forfeit the game. I couldn't imagine what a riot that might have caused.
The fans calmed down, however, and the Mets won the game, and I was probably the happiest baseball fan on the planet that day. I have no souveniers from the game (I don't think I was even concerned about souveniers that day), but I will always have that memory of my greatest day as a Mets fan.
April 13, 2001
I was a beer vendor covering the left field side of the upper deck. After the fight between Pete Rose and Bud Harrelson, people were grabbing the cans of beer off my tray to throw onto Rose's head in left field. Because of that incident, 1973 was the last year vendors sold beer out of cans at Shea.
October 16, 2001
I was in the mezzanine down the LF line with a couple of friends. The whole incident with Rose played out right in front of us. What people may forget is that Rusty Staub hit two home runs that day despite a wrist injury that forced him to essentially swing the bat with one hand, sort of like a tennis player.
Mike from the Bronx
January 8, 2004
I was sitting in the upper left field stands. After the Rose incident I remember Rusty Staub coming out to left field to plead with the fans to stop throwing objects. He had his bat with him and was pointing to the scoreboard to stress that the Mets were way ahead and we were in danger of forfeiting. If I'm not mistaken Willie Mays and Seaver were with him. I remember being scared because the upper stands started to sway with all of the fans jumping around. Props to Wayne Garrett for being the first one to literally jump in to save Buddy.
December 30, 2006
Game 3 of the 1973 LCS is the earliest memory I have of an actual Mets baseball game. Of course, what I remember most was that my dad actually took me (at 9 years old), my younger brother and two cousins to a playoff game! The series was tied at one game each with the Cincinnati Reds coming to Shea. The Mets jumped out to a huge lead as Le Grande Orange hit two homers and drove in four runs.
My clearest memory of the game occurred at the end of the fifth inning. With the Mets ahead 9- 2, future Hall-of-Famer Joe Morgan hit a ground ball to John Milner at first. The runner on first, known as Charlie Hustle, slid hard into second base in an unsuccessful attempt to break up a 3-6-3 double-play that ended the inning.
From our seats in the upper deck behind home plate I told my dad that something was happening at second base. He told me that the inning was over, completed the entry in his scorebook, and then looked up to see Pete Rose beating up Bud Harrelson. The crowd went wild. We went wild.
Rose got the best of little Bud, but the Mets got the best of the Big Red Machine in the game and in the series. The Mets secured the pennant and I secured my dad's scorebook.
October 13, 2008
I was 13 at the time and planning my day around watching the game on NBC. It was Columbus Day and we were off from school and my friends and I played touch football late morning to early afternoon then we watched the game at my friend's house in Cambria Heights, Queens. I remember Koosman was sharp striking out Tony Perez to end the top of the 1st. Then the Mets started hitting. Rusty Staub had a huge day. Then the famous fight between Rose and Harrelson. NBC's camera had the back of the Reds 3rd base coach and I remember yelling at the TV for him to move. Jim Simpson and Maury Wills did the game for NBC. Then the Mets had to tell the fans too stop throwing stuff at Pete Rose in left field. It was a great game. Looking to acquire the tape of that game and series. Does anyone know where I can purchase a copy of that game and or series?
March 18, 2009
I thought this game was played on a Saturday afternoon, because I was outside playing with my friends (mom didn't believe in her kids staying in on a nice sunny afternoon, so she kicked me out) when my mother called over to me and told me about the Rose/Harrelson fight. Hearing her tell it was just as exciting as watching it.
Anyway, I have to agree with Stan. I would LOVE to see A/E put out the complete 1973 NLCS on DVD. The games do exist, and the series was one of the most exciting ever.
April 24, 2009
When someone mentions Columbus Day, I don't think about Queen Isabella, the 3 Ships or any parade (although I am 1/2 Italian); I think about game 3 of the 1973 NLCS and the now famous Buddy Harrelson-Pete Rose brawl. I still get chills listening to Bob Murphy's blow by blow account and to this day my friend Kathy (who's all time fave Met is Buddy) cannot stand Peter Edward Rose and the Mets got sweet revenge when the Amazin's won in 5 (the NLCS was best of 5 until 1984).
December 13, 2010
Two things that stick out: If you look up the website retrosheet.org and go to the boxscore, it doesn't even mention the fight. Also, go on youtube.com and type in Our World Fall 1973. It was a ABC News show that would air a period of time in the world's history and that particular episode mentions the 1973 NLCS as well as more serious matters like Watergate and the troubles of the Middle East.
February 15, 2013
How about during the brawl...Pedro Borbon picked up a Met hat and put it on. When he realized it he threw it to the ground and stomped on it! There was a lot of emotion out there.