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Game Thread: 1973 World Series, Game 1

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Athletics v Mets Photo by Focus on Sport via Getty Images

Welcome to our Retro Game Thread! With no 2020 games to cover, we’re instead turning our attention back in time to the three-time champion 1970s Oakland A’s. Click here to see the full schedule of games we’re following for the next couple weeks.

We’re starting the 1973 World Series right now, and on the docket tonight is Game 1.

Here’s how to watch:

  • What: 1972 World Series, Game 4
  • When: 8:00 p.m., PT
  • Where: NBC Sports California
  • Who: New York Mets at Oakland A’s
  • Why: Coronavirus?

Here’s some quick background to set the scene. The defending champion A’s won 94 games this year, and AL MVP Reggie Jackson led the league in homers and RBI. They needed the full five games to overcome the Orioles in the ALCS, but a Catfish Hunter shutout in Game 5 helped them punch a return ticket to the World Series.

Their opponent is the New York Mets, featuring Cy Young winner Tom Seaver, though the future Hall of Famer won’t pitch until Game 3. Also suiting up for New York is a 42-year-old Willie Mays, in the final season of his career.

Oakland’s core is mostly the same as the previous year, though a few role players have changed. They traded 1B Mike Epstein and his wonderful beard to Texas, and they shipped CF George Hendrick and primary catcher Dave Duncan to the Indians in a deal that netted them a new catcher, a two-time All-Star named Ray Fosse. Their new CF, speedster Bill North, had a good year but hurt himself at the end of the season and will miss the entire postseason — his replacement is none other than Jesus Alou, whose brother Matty had started in the World Series for the 1972 A’s, also as an outfield injury replacement (for Jackson).

Here are the staring lineups for Game 1, beginning with the host A’s, who have Jackson healthy and active this year:

A’s lineup

  1. Bert Campaneris, SS
  2. Joe Rudi, LF
  3. Sal Bando, 3B
  4. Reggie Jackson, CF
  5. Gene Tenace, 1B
  6. Jesus Alou, RF
  7. Ray Fosse, C
  8. Dick Green, 2B
  9. Ken Holtzman, LHP

Mets lineup

  1. Wayne Garrett, 3B
  2. Felix Millan, 2B
  3. Willie Mays, CF
  4. Cleon Jones, LF
  5. John Milner, 1B
  6. Jerry Grote, C
  7. Don Hahn, RF
  8. Bud Harrelson, SS
  9. Jon Matlack, LHP

Play ball!