Mets right fielder Rusty Staub makes two incredible catches in Game 4 of the 1973 NLCS. Most fans at Shea Stadium on October 9, 1973, are still fuming over the Game 3 fight between Buddy Harrelson and Pete Rose. But the Mets are focused on being just one win away from the World Series.
Tied 1-1, Game 4 goes into extra innings. The Reds have a scoring opportunity in the 10th. With two outs and Dan Driessen on second base, Tug McGraw intentionally walks Pete Rose. Then Joe Morgan also draws a walk to load the bases. Tony Perez hits a deep fly ball to right field but Rusty Staub makes an incredible catch for the third out!
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Then with one out in the 11th inning, back-to-back singles put two Reds on base. McGraw strikes out Cesar Geronimo for the second out. Then Driessen hits a deep fly to right field. Rusty Staub makes a leap and an amazing catch, crashing into the unpadded wall! He holds up his glove to show that he held onto the ball.
The Reds would go on to win the game 2-1 in 12 innings on a Pete Rose solo home run off Mets relief pitcher Harry Parker. The Shea crowd would boo Rose lustily then and for the rest of his career, not forgetting the brawl the day before.
The Reds win tied the NLCS at two games apiece. But the Mets would win the deciding game 7-2 and advance to play Oakland.
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Staub was badly injured on his last catch, suffering a separated shoulder, and would not be able to play in Game 5 of the NLCS or the opening game of the World Series. Throughout the series, he would have to throw underhanded or hand the ball to the Mets center fielder who would then throw the ball back into the infield.