Every SI Story ... Every SI Photo ... Ever SI.COM/VAULT
This is an article from the Oct. 26, 2009 issue
EXCERPT | Oct. 22, 1973
Neither team wanted to be the favorite in this Series
After upsetting Cincinnati's Big Red Machine in the NLCS, the Mets met the defending champion A's in the World Series. Ron Fimrite filed this story after the teams had split the first two games in Oakland.
The A's were not entirely comfortable in the role of favorites against the Mets, who entered the Series for the second time in five years as Cinderellas. They are happier as underdogs, and the puff pieces about the "poor little Mets" rankled them. The image the visitors brought to Oakland was the one the A's themselves had worn proudly a year ago in Cincinnati. The japes directed at them then for their popinjay uniforms, their coiffures, their intramural squabbles, their mulish owner and their strategy-obsessed manager merely perpetuated a well-cultivated, if accidentally conceived, reputation. The A's are climbers, not establishmentarians.
"Last year it was kind of a bonus just being in the Series," said Reggie Jackson, the team's star slugger. "It was easier for us to win because nobody expected us to. This year we're the world champions. The pressure is on us. Now we're playing against the giant-killer."
In the A's 2--1 opening-game win, Oakland pitcher Ken Holtzman, who appeared at the plate exactly once during the regular season (he walked), doubled smartly to leftfield off Mets starter Jon Matlack, striking a blow, as it were, for the liberation of hitting pitchers. The monstrous second game, won by the Mets 10--7 after four hours and 13 minutes, was the longest and quite likely sloppiest game in World Series history. The A's made five errors, two by second baseman Mike Andrews in what proved to be a fatal 12th inning.
The A's won in seven games, their second of three straight Series titles.
Check out SI.COM/BONUS | Breaking News | Real-time Scores | Daily Analysis
MARK IT DOWN
SI.com's Stewart Mandel on the latest contender for the Heisman, Alabama running back Mark Ingram:
On a weekend in which so many Heisman candidates failed to impress, Ingram, a 5'10" sophomore from Flint, Mich., inserted himself into the thick of the race in dazzling fashion with 24 carries for 248 yards and a touchdown in the Crimson Tide's 20--6 win over South Carolina. During Alabama's game-sealing touchdown drive midway through the fourth quarter, Ingram (left) carried the ball on all six plays, the first five coming on direct snaps, and averaged 11.3 yards per carry.
Monday Morning Quarterback
Broncos QB Kyle Orton making believers out of doubters
Injured in a car accident, the U.S.'s Charlie Davies has to be a warrior
Why the Cardinals' Albert Pujols is one of the 10 greatest hitters ever
ON THE GO
Follow SI.com writers, including Peter King, Don Banks, Seth Davis, Jon Heyman and Stewart Mandel, every day on Twitter. Plus get Truth and Rumors and regular updates at SI_24/7
Get the latest news, live scores, photos and stories from SI.com writers, plus personalize your page with your favorite teams.