1973 Junior World Series
The 1973 Junior World Series was the 49th Junior World Series between the champions of the American Association and International League. The Tulsa Oilers won the American Association title by beating the Iowa Oaks in a seven-game series, while the Pawtucket Red Sox survived two best-of-five series to win the International League's Governors' Cup in the franchise's first year in Rhode Island. Attendance for the five-game JWS was just 13,235, the lowest recorded number in the event's history.
The Oilers had gone 68-67 under Jack Krol in the regular season, winning the Eastern Division of the American Association thanks to a 12-2 record in the final weeks. Tulsa was led by Jim Dwyer, the AA batting champ, who hit .387/.468/.504. Dwyer was their only player on the postseason All-Star team. None of their pitchers were in the AA's top 10 in ERA. They had only outscored opponents 631-628.
The Red Sox had been 70-65 before a strong 8-3 run to end the regular season. Managed by Darrell Johnson, they had a 580-554 run differential during the year. They had two All-Stars, 1B Cecil Cooper (.293/.369/.458) and P Dick Pole (12-9, 2.03, 124 H, 4 HR, 158 K in 182 IP). Pole had led the IL in both ERA and strikeouts while Mark Bomback (10-7, 3.36) was 8th in ERA. Cooper was second in average, followed by OF Mike Cummings (.288/.347/.350, the league leader with 150 hits). Joining Pawtucket for the Series were call-ups Jim Rice and Fred Lynn from AA; Rice had been the Triple Crown winner in the Eastern League.
Game one was a close affair, matched evenly at six into the 12th, when Bill Stein singled for Tulsa, was bunted over by Byron Browne and scored on a Danny Godby hit. Ike Brookens allowed one run in 5 1/3 innings of relief for the victory. Four players had three hits in the game - Marc Hill and Stein of the Oilers and Frank Vazquez and Roger Nelson of the Red Sox.
Lynn McGlothen blanked the Oilers 1-0 in game 3, allowing just two hits, to win his pitching duel with Mike Thompson. It was scoreless until the 8th, when Buddy Hunter singled off Thompson, was bunted over by Cummings and driven home on a Burleson double.
Bomback and Lance Clemons combined on a six-hit shutout in game four to put Pawtucket ahead 3 games to 1, with Tulsa not having scored since the fifth inning of game 2. Pawtucket won game four by a 5-0 margin.
A 3-run homer by Rice in the third inning of game five was the big blow as Pawtucket cruised to a 5-2 win, Behney's second of the Series, to lock up the title.
The Encyclopedia of Minor League Baseball. Lloyd Johnson and Miles Wolff, editors. Baseball America, 1993.
1974 Baseball Guide