On August 31st, 2020 Tom Seaver passed at age 75. I couldn't help but reflect on the great memories my childhood baseball hero gave me. How sad I felt the day Tom Seaver died.
Tom Seaver was great in so many aspects. Seaver had quite a memorable 20-year career in baseball. I'm grateful many of those years were with my favorite team; the New York Mets.
Seaver's career stats are sparkling; 311 wins, 3,640 strikeouts (6th all-time), and a lifetime ERA of 2.86. He won NL Rookie of the Year honors in 1967. Mets were lucky enough to win the rights to Tom Seaver in a lottery draft. He soon became known as "The Franchise" helping the "Miracle Mets" upset the Orioles in the 1969 World Series.
He struck out 19 batters in a game for the Mets, 10 of which were consecutive which is still a record. That record of 10 straight Ks was tied on June 25th, 2021 by Aaron Nola of the Phillies who ironically tied the record vs. the Mets at Citi Field in Queens.
Seaver won 3 Cy Young Awards and pitched a no-hitter for the Reds. For the Mets, he pitched 5 one-hitters and carried a perfect game into the 9th against the Cubs. Seaver was a 12x All-Star
Seaver was traded to the Cincinnati Reds on June 15th, 1977 because of a contract dispute with then Mets GM M. Donald Grant. In return, the Mets got pitcher Pat Zachery, Doug Flynn, and two minor league prospects; Steve Henderson and Dan Norman. I hated M. Donald Grant ever since. Talk to any Met fan from that time and they will tell you the same; Grant was despised.
What made Seaver great was that he was so determined, confident, and strived for perfection. He got his teammates to play at a higher level and it paid off in 1969. He help get them back to the World Series in 1973, but they fell to the Oakland A's.
One of my prized possessions is a ticket I have of the game I attended to see Tom Seaver pitch when he returned to the Mets in a trade. The date was April 5th, 1983.
Seaver was inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1992 with 98.84% of the vote which was the highest percentage ever at that time.
I will forever remember his drop-and-drive delivery for which he was known. I can't forget the excitement of the crowd that day in a sold-out Shea Stadium when I watched him pitch in 1983.
Sadly Tom Terrific as he was also known, retired from public life in 2019. He died from dementia and COVID-19. There will never be another Met pitcher to accomplish what Tom Seaver did or be as "Terrific" as he was.
To honor the legacy of Tom Seaver, the Mets unveiled a statue at Citi Field honoring late, great Hall of fame Mets pitcher Tom Seaver prior to their home opener on April 15 against the Arizona Diamondbacks.
It's important to read what two Mets pitchers had to say about the statue that will be unveiled today with Seaver's family in attendance.
Fellow pitcher and teammate Jerry Koosman said “It will make me so happy to know that they are appropriately honoring the greatest player in the history of the New York Mets. And it will make me sad to know my friend and brother won’t be there. He was the very best of all of us. I wish he could see it.”
Fellow Mets pitcher Jon Matlack said: “He was the consummate pro. He pitched the right way because he did everything in his life the right way. He worked hard. He studied the game. He treated people with respect. You couldn’t ask for a better teammate or a better guy to work with and work alongside. You couldn’t ask for a better role model.”