Bay Area baseball fans will want to check out MLB Networkon Friday night, January 22nd, as highlights of the Oakland A’s World Series wins in 1972 and 1973 will be broadcast back to back (5 and 6pm pst, with repeat showings). Both series went to a seventh game and are each memorable in their own right.
1972 saw the A’s facing the Cincinnati Reds, who were led by future Hall of Famers Johnny Bench and Joe Morgan, not to mention Pete Rose. The A’s, despite having to play without Reggie Jackson, who was injured during the ALCS, prevailed, thanks to some great pitching from Catfish Hunter and Rollie Fingers, and the unexpected slugging by series MVP Gene Tenace. Six of the seven games were decided by one run.
In 1973, the defending champion A’s played the New York Mets, in a series that was almost overshadowed by controversy, when A’s owner Charles Finley tried to fire second baseman Mike Andrews, after the latter had made two crucial errors in game two.(Commissioner Bowie Kuhn reinstated Andrews, and fined Finley). Oakland, falling behind three games to two, rallied behind Reggie Jackson to post wins in games six and seven to win their second straight World Series ( they would make it three in a row the next year by beating the Dodgers in five games). The 1973 World Series marked the end of the line for Willie Mays, who played his final games as a New York Met. Also worth noting is that A’s manager Dick Williams announced his departure from Oakland shortly after game seven.