Thursday, April 7, 2011
These guys are the 1973 pennant winning Mets. The ones that played the A's in the World Series and almost won. They had the worst record of any team to finish in first place in a long time. I think the Padres matched their 82 wins here a few years back. I think. The East was bad in '73, but maybe it's because of the rise of the Dodgers and Big Red Machine, clobbering the Eastern teams.
Looking at the records on the back of the card is a bit funny, too, because the Mets are a fairly new team even in this year. They had a lousy first seven years, so not many good records came from that period. If your all time homer record is 34, then it shows that you're an expansion team. No player had ever knocked in a hundred runs, either.
One big note for me here is that Willie Mays appears in this photo. He's located the second from the left in the second row, just 45 degrees up and left from the trainer who is wearing white. Willie retired after the 1973 World Series, and completed a great career. The Giants trading him back to New York where he started his great career is not uncommon with the all-time greats. Babe Ruth returned to Boston, and Hank Aaron returned to Milwaukee.
Ballpark background: I am unable to determine right now where this photo was taken. There looks like some object between the shoulders of the fourth and fifth player from the left in the back row. Maybe it's some kind of light or other pole type thing that existed at Shea Stadium, but I don't have the energy to start looking right now. If one of my readers can identify this object (even if it's flying) then great. Otherwise, the ballpark is undetermined.