NY Met Legend Tom Seaver Dies at 75
On Monday Aug. 31, Tom Seaver (aka Tom Terrific, The Franchise), widely considered one of the greatest baseball pitchers of all time, passed away at age 75. In a statement from Seaver's wife, Nancy, and daughters, Sarah and Ann, they expressed, "We are heartbroken to share that our beloved husband and father has passed away. We send our love to his fans, as we mourn his loss with you," per a CBS Sports article. He passed away from complications of Lewy Body Dementia and COVID-19.
Tom Seaver was born in Fresno, California, on Nov. 17, 1944, according to the Society of American Baseball Research. He began his little league career at age 9, and within three years, had pitched a perfect game. In addition to pitching, Seaver also played the outfield and boasted a .540 batting average.
After a stint in junior college, Seaver joined the University of Southern California’s 1965 squad, earning a 10–2 record and striking out 100 batters in 100 innings. Seaver joined the New York Mets in 1967. Despite the Mets’ dismal 60–101 record in 1967, Seaver’s rookie record included 16 wins, 18 complete games, 170 strikeouts and a 2.76 earned run average, and he won the Rookie of the Year Award. Within two years, the Mets became World Champions, upsetting the Baltimore Orioles in the 1969 World Series, and the "Miracle Mets" were born.
Seaver pitched in the Major Leagues from 1967-1986, mainly for the New York Mets, the team with which he is most often associated. During his career, Seaver pitched in 656 games, starting 647 of them and winning 311, for a winning percent of .603. In addition, he pitched 61 shutouts and had a career ERA of 2.86. A three-time Cy Young Award winner, Seaver was also a 12twelve-time All-Star and won the ERA title three times. In 1992, Seaver entered the Major League Baseball Hall of Fame, per Tom Seaver Stats.
Seaver was revered by his peers and respected by his competitors, a Larry Brown Sports article reports. Former player and baseball manager Larry Bowa said, “He was one of the toughest pitchers I faced in my career and off the field he was a great person.” Jim Palmer, himself a superstar and Hall of Fame pitcher with the Baltimore Orioles, said, “Saddened to hear my friend Tom Seaver, has passed away. My condolences to Nancy & the Seaver Family. Baseball lost the best pitcher of my era.” Hall of Fame Manager Sparky Anderson, who managed Seaver during his time with the Cincinnati Reds, said, "My idea of managing is giving the ball to Tom Seaver and sitting down and watching him work" according to the Baseball Hall of Fame. Teammate Cleon Jones said, “Tom does everything well. He’s the kind of man you'd want your kids to grow up to be like. Tom’s a studious player, devoted to his profession, a loyal cat, trustworthy —- everything a Boy Scout’s supposed to be. In fact, we call him ‘Boy Scout’” according to the Baseball Almanac.
Some of Seaver's most famous quotes provide insight into what made him tick as a person, according to Baseball Almanac. His competitive nature: "There are only two places in the league — first place and no place." His humility: In response to a fan who recounted his accomplishments, "Yeah, but you forgot one thing, I'm the only pitcher in the history of the Mets who's lost a ball game in the World Series."
After retiring from playing baseball, Seaver worked as a baseball broadcaster for the New York Mets and the New York Yankees and created Seaver Vineyards near his California home, according to a CBS Sports article. The baseball world has lost one of its greatest competitors, and the world has lost a great, dedicated, and much-beloved person.