1973 New York Yankees season

The 1973 New York Yankees season was the 71st season for the team. The Yankees finished fourth in the American League East with a record of 80–82 under manager Ralph Houk, 17 games behind the division champion Baltimore Orioles. This was the last time that the Yankees finished the season below .500 until 1982. This was also their last year in the "old" Yankee Stadium (on the south side of 161st Street), which was targeted for major reconstruction in 1974–1975. During this period, the Yankees shared a home field with a National League team for the third time in their history, moving into Shea Stadium for two years.

1973 New York Yankees
Major League affiliations
Other information
Owner(s)George Steinbrenner
General manager(s)Lee MacPhail
Manager(s)Ralph Houk
Local televisionWPIX
(Phil Rizzuto, Frank Messer, Bill White)
Local radioWMCA
(Frank Messer, Phil Rizzuto, Bill White)
< Previous season     Next season >

George Steinbrenner

The Yankees had been struggling during their years under CBS ownership, which had acquired the team in 1965. In 1972, CBS Chairman William S. Paley told team president E. Michael Burke the media company intended to sell the club. As Burke later told writer Roger Kahn, Paley offered to sell the franchise to Burke if he could find financial backing. Burke ran across Steinbrenner's name and veteran baseball executive Gabe Paul, a Cleveland-area acquaintance of Steinbrenner, helped bring the two men together.

On January 3, 1973, a group of investors led by George Steinbrenner and minority partner Burke bought the Yankees from CBS for $10 million.

The announced intention was that Burke would continue to run the team as club president. But Burke later became angry when he found out that Paul had been brought in as a senior Yankee executive, crowding his authority, and quit the team presidency on April 29, 1973. (Burke remained a minority owner of the club into the following decade.) He handed in his resignation to the New York Yankees, so that he could become president of Madison Square Garden.[1]

It would be the first of many high-profile departures by employees who crossed paths with "The Boss". At the conclusion of the 1973 season, two more prominent names departed: manager Ralph Houk, who resigned and then signed to manage the Detroit Tigers; and general manager Lee MacPhail, who became president of the American League.


  • November 24, 1972: Rob Gardner and a player to be named later were traded by the Yankees to the Oakland Athletics for Matty Alou. The Yankees completed the deal by sending Rich McKinney to the Athletics on December 1.[2]
  • November 27, 1972: John Ellis, Jerry Kenney, Charlie Spikes, and Rusty Torres were traded by the Yankees to the Cleveland Indians for Graig Nettles and Jerry Moses.[3]
  • Bobby Murcer signed a $100,000 contract with the Yankees. He was just the second player in Yankees history (behind Mickey Mantle) to earn a base salary of $100,000 in one season.[4]

Regular season

After the last game of the 1973 season on September 30, fans ripped out parts of the stadium, including the seats, to take as souvenirs. The stadium would be remodeled, and reopen in 1976. On July 1 the Yankees were 45-33 and leading the American League East by four games, but were only 35-49 rest of the way.[5]

Season standings

AL East W L Pct. GB Home Road
Baltimore Orioles 9765 0.599 50–31 47–34
Boston Red Sox 8973 0.549 8 48–33 41–40
Detroit Tigers 8577 0.525 12 47–34 38–43
New York Yankees 8082 0.494 17 50–31 30–51
Milwaukee Brewers 7488 0.457 23 40–41 34–47
Cleveland Indians 7191 0.438 26 34–47 37–44

Record vs. opponents

Baltimore 7–116–68–412–69–98–415–38–49–95–710–2
Boston 11–77–56–69–93–158–412–66–614–44–89–3
California 6–65–78–105–77–510–85–710–86–66–1211–7
Chicago 4–86–610–87–55–76–123–99–98–46–1213–5
Cleveland 6–129–97–55–79–92–109–97–57–113–97–5
Detroit 9–915–35–77–59–94–812–65–77–117–55–7
Kansas City 4–84–88–1012–610–28–48–49–96–68–1011–7
Milwaukee 3–156–127–59–39–96–124–88–410–84–88–4
Minnesota 4–86–68–109–95–77–59–94–83–914–412–6
New York 9–94–146–64–811–711–76–68–109–34–88–4
Oakland 7–58–412–612–69–35–710–88–44–148–411–7
Texas 2–103–97–115–135–77–57–114–86–124–87–11

Notable transactions

  • April 5, 1973: Frank Baker was traded by the Yankees to the Baltimore Orioles for Tom Matchick.[6]
  • June 5, 1973: Kerry Dineen was drafted by the Yankees in the 4th round of the 1973 Major League Baseball Draft.[7]
  • June 7, 1973: Frank Tepedino, Wayne Nordhagen and players to be named later were traded by the Yankees to the Atlanta Braves for Pat Dobson. The Yankees completed the deal by sending Dave Cheadle to the Braves on August 15 and Al Closter to the Braves on September 5.[8]
  • June 7, 1973: Sam McDowell was purchased by the Yankees from the San Francisco Giants.[9]
  • June 12, 1973: Mike Kekich was traded by the Yankees to the Cleveland Indians for Lowell Palmer.[10]
  • July 30, 1973: Jerry Kenney was signed as a free agent by the Yankees.[11]
  • August 7, 1973: The Yankees sent a player to be named later and cash to the St. Louis Cardinals for Wayne Granger. The Yankees completed the deal by sending Ken Crosby to the Cardinals on September 12.[12]
  • August 13, 1973: Bernie Allen was purchased from the Yankees by the Montreal Expos.[13]
  • August 18, 1973: Johnny Callison was released by the Yankees.[14]


1973 New York Yankees
Pitchers Catchers



Other batters

  • 43 Jim Ray Hart


Player stats

Starters by position

Note: Pos = Position; G = Games played; AB = At bats; H = Hits; Avg. = Batting average; HR = Home runs; RBI = Runs batted in

Pos Player G AB H Avg. HR RBI
CThurman Munson147519156.3012074
1BFelipe Alou9328066.236427
2BHorace Clarke148590155.263235
3BGraig Nettles160552129.2342281
SSGene Michael12941894.225347
LFRoy White162639157.2461860
CFBobby Murcer160616187.3042295
RFMatty Alou123497147.296228
DHJim Ray Hart11433986.2541352

Other batters

Note: G = Games played; AB = At bats; H = Hits; Avg. = Batting average; HR = Home runs; RBI = Runs batted in

Player G AB H Avg. HR RBI
Ron Blomberg10030199.3291257
Johnny Callison4513624.176110
Mike Hegan3713136.275614
Hal Lanier358618.20905
Otto Vélez237715.19527
Fred Stanley266614.21215
Celerino Sánchez346414.21919
Jerry Moses215915.25403
Bernie Allen175713.22804
Ron Swoboda35435.11612
Rick Dempsey6112.18200
Duke Sims493.33311

Starting pitchers

Note: G = Games pitched; IP = Innings pitched; W = Wins; L = Losses; ERA = Earned run average; SO = Strikeouts

Player G IP W L ERA SO
Mel Stottlemyre38273.016163.0795
Doc Medich34235.01492.95145
Fritz Peterson31184.18153.9559
Pat Dobson22142.1984.1770
Sam McDowell1695.2583.9575
Steve Kline1474.0474.0119

Other pitchers

Note: G = Games pitched; IP = Innings pitched; W = Wins; L = Losses; ERA = Earned run average; SO = Strikeouts

Player G IP W L ERA SO
Fred Beene1991.0601.6849
Mike Kekich514.2119.204
Dave Pagan412.2002.849

Relief pitchers

Note: G = Games pitched; W = Wins; L = Losses; SV = Saves; ERA = Earned run average; SO = Strikeouts

Player G W L SV ERA SO
Sparky Lyle5159272.5163
Lindy McDaniel47126102.8693
Jim Magnuson80104.289
Tom Buskey80115.408
Wayne Granger70101.7610
Casey Cox10006.000

Farm system

Level Team League Manager
AAA Syracuse Chiefs International League Bobby Cox
AA West Haven Yankees Eastern League Doc Edwards
A Kinston Eagles Carolina League Gene Hassell
A Fort Lauderdale Yankees Florida State League Pete Ward
A-Short Season Oneonta Yankees New York–Penn League Hank Majeski
Rookie Johnson City Yankees Appalachian League Steve Hamilton

Kinston affiliation shared with Atlanta Braves[15]

Awards and honors

All-Star Game

  • Thurman Munson, catcher
  • Bobby Murcer, outfield, starter
  • Sparky Lyle, pitcher [16]


  1. Madden, Bill (2010). Steinbrenner: The Last Lion of Baseball. New York: Harper Collins Publishing. pp. 47–48. ISBN 978-0-06-169031-0.
  2. Rich McKinney page at Baseball Reference
  3. Graig Nettles page at Baseball Reference
  4. Murcer, Bobby; Waggoner, Glen (2008). Yankee for Life. New York: Harper Collins. p. 75. ISBN 978-0-06-147342-5.
  5. "Memorable Stadium Moments". The New York Times. September 21, 2008.
  6. Tom Matchick page at Baseball Reference
  7. Kerry Dineen page at Baseball Reference
  8. Al Closter page at Baseball Reference
  9. Sam McDowell page at Baseball Reference
  10. Mike Kekich page at Baseball-Reference
  11. Jerry Kenney page at Baseball Reference
  12. Ken Crosby page at Baseball Reference
  13. Bernie Allen page at Baseball Reference
  14. Johnny Callison page at Baseball Reference
  15. Johnson, Lloyd, and Wolff, Miles, ed., The Encyclopedia of Minor League Baseball, 2nd and 3rd editions. Durham, North Carolina: Baseball America, 1997 and 2007
  16. "1973 All-Star Game".


This article is issued from Wikipedia. The text is licensed under Creative Commons - Attribution - Sharealike. Additional terms may apply for the media files.