Reunion Committee

Sports in 1973

Secretariat wins Triple Crown

Kentucky Derby, Churchill Downs, May 5: Secretariat broke last, but gradually moved up on the field in the backstretch, then overtook the leader, Sham, at the top of the stretch pulling away to win by 2 1/2 lengths. On his way to a still-standing track record (1:59 2/5), Secretariat ran each quarter-mile segment faster than the one before it. The successive quarter-mile times were 25 1/5, 24, 23 4/5, 23 2/5, and 23. This means he was still accelerating as of the final quarter-mile of the race.

Preakness Stakes, Pimlico, May 19: Secretariat broke last, but then made a huge, last-to-first move on the first turn. After reaching the lead with 5 1/2 furlongs to go, he was never challenged, and won by 2 1/2 lengths. Sham finished second again.

Belmont Stakes, Belmont Park, June 9: Secretariat and Sham set a fast early pace, opening ten lengths on the rest of the field. After the six-furlong mark, Sham began to tire. Secretariat continued the fast pace opening up a larger and larger margin on the field. In the stretch, Secretariat opened a 1/16 mile lead on the field, winning by 31 lengths, breaking the margin-of-victory record set by Triple Crown winner Count Fleet in 1943, which won by 25 lengths, and the track record by 2 seconds. Secretariat's time set a track record which still stands.

Secretariat Secretariat 2

Secretariat became the ninth Triple Crown winner in history, and the first since 1948 (25 years). Jockey is Ron Turcotte. Only two horses since, Seattle Slew (1977) and Affirmed (1978), have won the Triple Crown.
Secretariat won 6 more races for the remainder of 1973, setting 2 track records. Altogether, Secretariat won 16 of his 21 career races, with three seconds and one third, for in-the-money finishes in 20 of 21 starts, and total earnings of $1,316,808.

Miami Dolphins win Super Bowl VII - only NFL Perfect Season
Miami Dolphins defeat the Washington Redskins 14-7 at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum becoming the NFL's first and only undefeated champion. The Dolphins had gone 14-0 during the regular season and won 3 playoff games, including the Super Bowl, to go 17-0. They came close to a 17-0 win in the Super Bowl when a late field goal attempt with about 2 minutes to go was blocked and a subsequent ill fated pass by the kicker, Garo Yepremian, was intercepted by Washington and returned for a TD. Defensive Tackle Manny Fernandez logged 17 tackles.

The teams that came close to perfect seasons: the 1934 and 1942 Chicago Bears both went undefeated during the regular season but lost in their respective NFL Championship games, and the 2007 New England Patriots went 18-0 in the regular season and playoffs only to lose in Super Bowl XLII.

This was the first Super Bowl to be televised live in the city in which it was being played. It was televised on an experimental basis when all tickets for the game were sold. No subsequent Super Bowl game has been blacked out as all have been sold out.

Super Bowl VII

UCLA Bruins Win 7th Straight Basketball Championship     March 26
The UCLA Bruins defeat Memphis State 87-66 completing an undefeated 30-0 season and attaining an unprecedented 7th Straight Championship and 9th championship in 10 seasons. Bill Walton scored on 21 of 22 field goal attempts for a total of 44 points and was named tournament Most Outstanding Player.
The championship game was the 1st time Monday night game was televised. Coach John Wooden.

Bill Walton

USC Trojans Win Rose Bowl Completing Undefeated Season and #1 in the Polls     January 1
USC Trojans defeat Ohio State in the Rose Bowl 42-17 completing an undefeated season. The Trojans were voted unanimously the number one team in college football, the first time in college football history. Sam "Bam" Cunningham scored 4 touchdowns and was named Player of the Game.
The game featured 13 players who were chosen in the first round of the NFL draft (8 OSU, 5 USC) and the Trojans had 33 players who would eventually be drafted by the NFL. Coach John McKay.

USC Trojans win College Baseball World Series     June 13
The USC Trojans baseball team beats Arizona State 4-3 to win its fourth consecutive championship the first team in College World Series to do so. This win was USC's 9th championship. The team went on to win its 5th consecutive championship the following year, a record that still stands.

The most amazing college baseball game: The semi final game against University of Minnesota is frequently recalled as the most amazing game in College World Series history. USC scored 8 runs in the 9th inning to win the game 8-7. Coach Rod Deadeaux.

Oakland Athletics win World Series
The Oakland A's defeat the New York Mets 4 games to 3 to win their 6th World Series title. The Mets had the worst record of any team to play in the World Series. Willie Mays collected the final hit of his career in the series and was quoted: "Growing old is just a helpless hurt."

New York Knicks win NBA Championship
The NY Knicks defeat the LA Lakers 4 games to 1 in an exact reversal of the prior year. This was their 3rd championship meeting in 4 years.
11 players from both teams are eventually voted into the NBA Hall of Fame. Pat Riley of the Lakers would eventually coach the LA Lakers to 4 championships and ironically coach the NY Knicks to an NBA championship series which they lost. Phil Jackson of the Knicks would eventually coach the LA Lakers to 5 championships, as well as coach the Chicago Bulls to 6 championships.

Montreal Canadiens win the Stanley Cup
The Montreal Canadiens win the Stanley Cup by defeating the Chicago Black Hawks 4 games to 2. This was the Canadiens' 18th Stanley Cup. To this date, the Canadiens have 24 Stanley Cups. No other team has more than 13 Stanley Cups.

Stanley Cup Finals

First Designated Hitter in Major League Baseball    April 6
Ron Blomberg of the New York Yankees becomes the first designated hitter in Major League Baseball. He walked.
On January 11, 1973, the American League owners voted 8-4 to approve the Designated Hitter for a 3 year trial run. The DH, Major League Baseball Rule 6.10, was voted in to score more runs and increase attendance.
Connie Mack, A's owner and manager, originally proposed the Designated Hitter in 1906.

Battle of the Sexes
Bobby Riggs, seeking to earn some cash and also promote the sport he loves, challenged any female tennis player. In a Mother's Day match held on May 13th, Riggs beats Margaret Court.
Billie Jean King then takes up his challenge and defeats him on September 20th in a televised match.

NCAA Urine Testing     June 18
NCAA makes urine testing mandatory for sports participants.

The first Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race
The Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race, an annual long-distance sled dog race run held in early March from Anchorage to Nome, is first held in 1973. Mushers and a team of 12-16 dogs, of which at least 6 must be on the towline at the finish line, cover the distance in 9 - 15 days.

iditarod                             iditarod

O.J. Simpson becomes first running back to rush for 2,000 yards    December 16
O.J. Simpson of the Buffalo Bills became the first running back to rush for 2,000 yards in a pro football season. He averaged 143 yards per game (a record that still stands) and 6 yards per carry.
He set this mark in only 14 games - the other 5 Running Backs to achieve 2,000 yards did so in 16 game seasons.
OJ Simpson

NFL Adopts Jersey Numbering System     April 5
The NFL adopted a jersey numbering system for positions. QBs can only use 1-19, RB: 20-49, WR: 10-19, 80-89, TE: 40-49, 80-89; OL: 50-79, DL: 50-79, LB: 50-59, 90-99, DB: 20-49, K: 1-19, P: 1-19.
A grandfather clause was initiated for those players who were already in the league and had numbers outside their position's designated range.
The last grandfathered player was DE Julius Adams of the NE Patriots who had #85 until his retirement in 1985. When he unretired a few years later he couldn't use #85 and instead chose #69.
Brian Bosworth (LB) sued the NFL to wear his college number 44 but lost in court.
Exceptions occur when players start their career at one position then switch to a different position. An example is Devin Hester #23 of the Chicago Bears who started out as a DB but transitioned to WR.

Oakland Raiders select Punter in 1st Round of NFL Draft
In an unusual move, the Raiders select a punter with the 23rd pick of the 1st round. Punters are normally selected in the late rounds. Punter Ray Guy out of Southern Mississippi State went on to play a major role in 3 Oakland Raiders Super Bowl wins. He played in 23 seasons, 207 consecutive games, averaged 42.4 yards per punt, was selected to 7 Pro Bowls and made the NFL's 75th Anniversary Team and the 70's all decade team. One sportswriter said, "He's the first punter you could look at and say: 'He won games.' " Guy once kicked a 61 yard field goal in college in a snowstorm in Utah. He also replaced George Blanda as the Raiders emergency quarterback. Believe it or not, Ray Guy is not in the Hall of Fame.

1973 NFL Draft
The 1973 NFL Draft produced 3 Hall of Famers, Tackle John Hannah, Guard Joe DeLamielleure, and Quarterback Dan Fouts. Fouts was selected in the 3rd round, taken behind other QB's Bert Jones, Gary Huff, Gary Keithly, Ron Jaworski. This draft also produced current day TV commentators: Jaworski, Fouts and Tom Jackson.

New York Yankees Purchased for $10 Million
CBS sells the New York Yankees for $10 million to a 12-person syndicate led by George Steinbrenner (3.2 million dollars more than CBS bought the Yankees for). The NY Yankees were the #1 baseball franchise in 2011 with a value of $1.7 Billion.

Dick Allen Highest-Paid Baseball Player
Slugger Dick Allen signs a 3 year contract with the Chicago White Sox for an estimated $250,000 per year, making him the highest paid player in major league history.

Roberto Clemente Elected to Hall of Fame
Roberto Clemente is elected to the Hall of Fame in a special vote. Clemente passed away on December 31, 1972 in a plane crash while providing aid for Nicaraguan earthquake victims. He got his 3000th hit in his final at bat of the 1972 regular season.

Hank Aaron hits his 700th     July 21
Hank Aaron hits his 700th home run, 14 behind the all time leader Babe Ruth. Aaron went on to hit 755 HR's during his career. The 700th home run was given up by Ken Brett whose younger brother George gets the first hit of his 3154 career hits on August 2, 1973.

Hank Aaron

Willie Mays Hits Last Home Run of Career     August 17
Willie Mays hits the last home run of his career leaving him at 660. At the time he is third on the all time HR list behind Babe Ruth and Hank Aaron.

Willie Davis and Pete Rose Reach 2000 Hits on the Same Day     June 19
Both Willie Davis, 33, of the Dodgers and Pete Rose, 31, of the Reds reach 2000 hits against the Braves and Giants, respectively, on the same day. Davis hit a two run shot to help win the game and Rose went 4 for 5. Davis would go on to hit another 561 hits for a decent career and finished with the 3rd most games played in center field behind Mays and Tris Speaker. Rose would go on to get another 2256 hits!

Nolan Ryan Pitches Two No Hitters, Breaks Season Strikeout Record    May 15, July 15
Nolan Ryan pitches the first two No Hitters of his career. In the second no hitter he strikes out 17. He will ultimately pitch 7 no hitters, a major league record. He strikes out 383 for the season breaking Sandy Koufax's record.

Pitcher Ken Brett Hits 4 Home Runs in 4 Consecutive Starts     June 9, 13, 18, 23
Pitcher Ken Brett of the Phillies, a good hitting pitcher, hit home runs in each of 4 consecutive starts! He hit 4 home runs in 1973 and 10 for his career.

Infield Record Starts     June 13
Steve Garvey, Davey Lopes, Ron Cey and Bill Russell play together for the first time for the LA Dodgers on June 13th the night before our graduation. They will stay together as a starting infield for 8 1/2 years, a major league record. They would reach the World Series 4 times and finally win it in 1981.

Dodgers Infield

Bobby Bond's 1973 Season
Bobby Bonds hits 39 home runs,11 of them leading off. He was voted MVP of the All Star game, finish 3rd in the MVP, win the Gold Glove and be voted NL Player of the year by The Sporting News.
His son, Barry Bonds, would eventually hit 762 home runs, more home runs than any other player, but would be implicated in a Human Growth Hormone scandal, a technology invented in 1973 (see Recombinant DNA).

Alan Ashby, SPHS Graduate, Major League Debut     July 3
Alan Ashby makes debut on 7/3/73 for the Cleveland Indians. He will play until 1989 for the Indians, Toronto Blue Jays and Houston Astros. He would reach 1000 hits and 90 Home Runs. Currently he is a broadcaster for the Toronto Blue Jays.

alan ashby

Garry Maddox, SPHS Graduate
Garry Maddox plays in his 2nd year in the major leagues on the San Francisco Giants. He is later traded to the Philadelphia Phillies where he ultimately earns 8 Gold Gloves playing center field, becomes known as the "Secretary of Defense" and helps the Phillies to win their first championship in 1980. He wins the Roberto Clemente award in 1986 for his work in the community.

gary maddox

Haven Moses, 1973 Pro Bowl
Haven Moses, Wide Receiver for the Denver Broncos, is elected to the 1973 Pro Bowl. He played football at Fermin Lasuen High School, San Pedro. His college career began at Harbor College before he moved on to San Diego State. He was drafted by the Buffalo Bills in the first round of the 1968 draft, 9th overall.
Haven Moses

George Foreman becomes Heavyweight Boxing Champion    January 22
George Foreman beats Joe Frazier by a technical knockout in two rounds in Kingston Jamaica. Foreman, a 3:1 underdog, dominated the fight by knocking Frazier down 6 times.
Going into the fight Frazier was 29-0 with 25 knockouts, Foreman was 37-0 with 34 knockouts.
It is HBO Boxing's first broadcast.
George Foreman and Joe Frazier

Jackie Stewart
World Driver's Championship: Jackie Stewart
Indianapolis 500: Gordon Johncock
USAC Car Series: Roger McCluskey
Daytona 500: Richard Petty
World 500: Benny Parsons
Le Mans: Henri Pescarolo / Gerard Larrousse
Richard Petty

Jack Nicklaus

Masters Tournament: Tommy Aaron
US Open: Johnny Miller
British Open: Tom Weiskopf
PGA Championship: Jack Nicklaus
Ryder Cup: US 19-13 over Britain and Ireland

Billie Jean King

Australian Open: John Newcombe Margaret Court
French Open: Ilie Nastaste
Wimbledon: Jan Kodes
US Open: John Newcombe
Australian Open: Margaret Court
French Open: Margaret Court
Wimbledon: Billie Jean King
US Open: Margaret Court

Associated Press Male Athlete of the Year - O.J. Simpson, National Football League
Associated Press Female Athlete of the Year - Billie Jean King, Tennis

Evil Knievel