Tom Seaver passed into eternity. His death on August 31, 2020 was a tremendous loss to baseball fans in the New York Metropolitan Area.
By 1967, baseball in New York was the laughingstock of professional sports. The once powerful New York Yankees, led by an aging Mickey Mantle, were a mere remnant of their former glory years. With the exception of 1966, when they lost 95 games, the New York Mets had lost more than 100 games a season since their inaugural year (1962).
There was nothing for baseball fans to cheer about in New York City; prospects seemed very bleak. Then along came Tom Seaver.
Tom Seaver was the Mets’ franchise during 1967 – 1977. During those years, Tom Seaver won three Cy Young Awards (1969, 1973, and 1975). In his 12 seasons with the Mets, Seaver won 198 games, posted an ERA of 2.57, and stroke out 2,541 batters.
After 20 seasons, Tom Seaver had won 311 games. Only Tom Seaver and Walter Johnson have 300 wins, 3,000 strikeouts, and an earned run average under 3.00. Seaver’s 16 Opening-Day starts set an MLB record. At the time of his retirement in June 1987, he was third on MLB’s all-time strikeout list (3,640), trailing only Nolan Ryan and Steve Carlton; he currently ranks sixth all time. Seaver is tied with Ryan for the seventh-most shutouts in MLB history (61). No major league pitcher has ever matched Seaver’s astonishing feat of striking out ten consecutive batters.
Tom Seaver was the consummate professional on and off the playing field. He is the perfect role model for young ballplayers to follow, to emulate, and from whom to learn the craft.
In 1973, Tug McGraw told us “You gotta believe.” “Terrific” Tom Seaver made us believe. Baseball lost a true ambassador of the sport. There will never be another Tom Seaver.
Albert J. Cupo
John Di Genio