METS FANS SHARE THEIR MEMORIES OF THE OCTOBER 10, 1973 GAME:
April 13, 2001
I was a Shea beer vendor for Harry M Stevens, but on this day I wasn't too interested in selling beer. My vendors badge allowed me to get into the ballpark. My father took my sister out of school--- told the principal there was a family emergency--- and got tickets in the upper level. I couldn't wait to run onto the field since I saw it done in 1969. In the eighth inning we crouched in the aisles in the field level, perched to run onto the field. As soon as the final out was made, all the temporary plywood stands along the field crunched over in unison. It sounded like hundreds of fireworks going off together. I danced onto the field and took some sod samples to plant in my parents Levittown lawn. One sad note, though. At the final out, Mets centerfielder Willie Mays was attempting to run off the field through the right field bullpen. I suppose a fan tried to nab Willie's hat or glove, because I saw Number 24 wrestle the fan to the ground inside the bullpen and beat him up.
August 16, 2002
I was a senior in college and my friend and our two girlfriends cut class and drove to Shea. I remember walking up to the ticket both and getting 4 tickets. Wow! It was an exciting game and everybody booed Pete Rose the whole game. Seaver pitched a great game and it was a nice touch when Yogi took him out to a standing ovation in the ninth. By then we all moved down and stood in the lower box section. When Tug got the last two out everyone piled onto the field and a great dust cloud covered it. Grass chunks were missing from hundreds of spots. I stayed in the stands and saw the last NL Chamionship banner right in front of me. I asked the cop next to me if I could have it and he said 'sure'. The Mets had derailed the Big Red Machine and were '73 NL Champions headed to the World Series.
May 16, 2003
I was 12 yrs old, already a die-hard fan. I had missed school to watch games 3 & 4 on TV. So on that morning, I resigned to the fact that I couldn’t miss school again, and I would miss the start of the game. But as luck would have it, my older brother came up with a wild idea – he informed me not only was I going to miss school again to watch Game 5, but that we were going to the Big Shea and try to but tickets to the game!
We bought general admission tix at the window for $3.00 each, up from the usual $1.50. I still have the colorful stub.
We all know what happened in Game 5 - plus I remember the 'Spiro Agnew resigns' flash on the scoreboard. During the 8th inning, my brother and I made it from the last row in the upper deck to about the 4th row behind 3rd base as the Reds threatened in the ninth.
We were among the first to make it onto the field, and I remember my jubilation quickly turned to horror as none other than Pete Rose was running right at me. He was like a blocking fullback, knocking over anyone in his path. Rose headed right at me, who was weighing in at about 80 lbs at the time. Luckily, I saw him in time and dodged him, then I had to duck a couple of other Reds as well.
I remember seeing many injured fans laid out, hurt in the stampede. I then went to home plate, but others were already cutting it up with an army knife. Ditto for the pitching rubber. So after grabbing a piece of the infield grass, we headed to the right field pen, where we cut up a piece of the bullpen tarp. We took the grass home, rolled up in the tarp. I then planted the grass in my parents back yard, and the grass still lives today!
September 19, 2003
My employer gave me a box seat ticket for this game. The box was #257E, seat 8, field level. I was very happy to attend this game but the end of the game proved to be more interesting. I recall people jumping over the rails, pulling out huge chunks of sod and throwing them into the stands. I caught one of the chunks and brought it to a co-worker who was a REAL Mets fan. He treated it like gold, took it home and planted it in his backyard, and surrounded it with a tiny fence. He was thrilled to have that bit of the Mets right in his own backyard forever. I still have the ticket showing "Mr. Met" running with his cap falling off.
March 4, 2004
The legal notes kept by Supreme Court justice Harry Blackmun were released to the public on March 4, 2004. Among the papers was a small memo that was handed to Blackmun from fellow justice Potter Stewart while the two were on the Supreme Court bench hearing arguments in a court case. The undated memo reads, "V.P. Agnew Just Resigned!!" Below, it says, "Mets 2, Reds 0." The note must have been passed after the first or second innings, or early in the third. The date could only have been Oct. 10, 1973. I am pleased to see that some of the most powerful men in the United States, hearing a legal case that was important enough to merit the high court's attention, still took a few moments to keep abreast of the NL championship -- as well as other matters of national importance.
November 29, 2005
I was 11 and my father pulled me out of school to go to the game. Our seats were great. Box seats on the first base side. I was in awe of the Big Red Machine. Who wouldn't be? Rose, Perez, Morgan etc. This was only a few days after the celebrated Rose Harrelson Fight and passions were inflamed. Tom Seaver was my favorite and he was on the mound. I think I remember the sign man being on the other side of the field. It was a noisy crowd. I remember Seaver pitching great, and Willie Mays' crummy little infield squibler (third base side?) which we thought might be his last hit.
I remember watching the wild celebration on the field and my father hanging on to me so that I wouldn't be knocked over as what seemed like thousands of people swarmed past us onto the field. My dad was not a huge baseball fan, but he definitely was excited when he learned that Agnew resigned. I remember him telling me Agnew was a crook, who never should have been Vice President. I'd been to games before, 100's of games after, but that one game made me a fan for life. That's why my email address is Metsfan@compuserve.com.
March 27, 2008
I was 15 in 1973 and a rabid Mets fan. Played hooky and went to the game (day game, do they still exist?). Got to Shea early, bought a three dollar ticket and wandered around the old World's Fair site before the game. My friend and I snuck down to the box seats and amazingly weren't thrown out. A lady actually gave us 2 tickets.
Bear with me here. 1st inning a great omen as Willie Mays "legs out" (remember he was 90 at the time) an infield semi-chopper. Crowd is insane all game after recent mugging of 112 Lb. Harrelson by arch-vilain Rose (historical footnote-scoreboard shows Agnew being forced out of White House at gunpoint, or at least being asked to leave). End of game.
It seems that all 58,000 people are in the aisles or on the baseline's temporary barriers (set up for cameramen), most of them on my back. As the final out is made 58,000 souvenir hunters storm the field. I'm looking for something to grab. Unbelievably Darrel Chaney is still in front of the Reds dugout (was he on deck?). Chaney was filling in at shortstop for the injured Dave Conception. I run over to him at about 90 miles an hour, jump on his back and grab his hat. It seemed right at the time. I ran off and he actually swung the bat he was holding and caught me in the arm. I didn't blame him then and I don't blame him now.
If fans tried this stuff today they'd be trampled by 1,000 horses brought up from Philadelphia.
I return to school the next day (Brooklyn's Xaverian) with the hat to show off. Unfortunately Chaney sports a 6-7/8 hat size, too small to even fit most high schoolers so of course everyone figures I'm full of crap (as some of you may now). I'm crushed.