Mets shortstop Bud Harrelson is called out at home plate in the 10th inning of game 2 of the 1973 World Series. A memorable argument follows between umpire Augie Donatelli and Willie Mays, Yogi Berra, and Felix Millan.
Vida Blue started for Oakland and Jerry Koosman for the Mets. The Mets lead 6-4 going into the bottom of the 9th. But the A’s rally to tie, helped by a misjudged line drive by Mays off the bat of Deron Johnson.
The 42-year-old outfielder announced his retirement earlier in the season. Mays was in centerfield for his defense, because right fielder Rusty Staub couldn’t throw due severely injuring his shoulder crashing into the outfield wall in Game 4 of the NLCS.
In the top of the 10th, Harrelson singles to center off A’s reliever Rollie Fingers. Tug McGraw then bunts him over to second. Wayne Garrett reaches safely when his grounder hits the first base bag. Gene Tenace‘s toss to Fingers covering first is high for the A’s third error of the day. Harrelson moving over to third on the play.
Then Felix Millan hits a shallow fly ball to Joe Rudi in left field. Rudi catches the ball and makes a strong throw home to catcher Ray Fosse. Meanwhile, Harrelson tags up and runs along the inside of the foul line, coming in standing up. Fosse catches the ball a few feet in front of the plate and in foul territory.
Expecting Harrelson to slide, home plate umpire Augie Donatelli is out of position and lying flat on his stomach. But he raises his fist and yells “your out!” Coming in from the on-deck circle is Willie Mays. He gets on his knees arguing the call. Mays is quickly joined by manager Yogi Berra, Millan, and Harrelson!
Watch the video and listen to the arguments. Strangely it’s narrated by Tom Lasorda.
If you couldn’t make it out, when Donatelli threatens to eject Harrelson, Buddy retorts “You can’t kick me out for your inadequacy!” Incredibly, no one is ejected.
The game would go on, taking four hours and 13 minutes to play. Ironically, Harrelson scores the go-ahead run in the 12th inning. Willie Mays last hit of his career, a single to center off Rollie Fingers, driving him in. The Mets score 4 runs in the 12th and hang on for a 10-7 win.
Related: The Rowdy 1973 NLCS Brawl.
After it was over, someone told Harrelson that Fosse claimed he grazed him with his tag. Buddy responded, “I guess with all these muscles, I didn’t feel it.”