Hall of Fame pitcher Tom Seaver passes away at age 75
(COOPERSTOWN, NY) – Hall of Fame pitcher Tom Seaver passed away in the early hours of Monday, August 31. He was 75. Seaver passed peacefully in his sleep of complications of Lewy body dementia and COVID-19.
“We are heartbroken to share that our beloved husband and father has passed away,” said his wife Nancy Seaver and daughters Sarah and Anne. “We send our love out to his fans, as we mourn his loss with you.”
Seaver won 311 games, had a 2.86 earned-run average and struck out 3,640 batters over a 20-year major league career that spanned from 1967-1986, earning 12 All-Star selections. He led the National League in wins three times, ERA three times and strikeouts five times. Seaver was elected to the Hall of Fame in 1992 when he was named on 98.8 percent of ballots cast by members of the Baseball Writers' Association of America, the highest voting percentage ever received at the time.
“Tom Seaver’s life exemplified greatness in the game, as well as integrity, character, and sportsmanship – the ideals of a Hall of Fame career,” said Jane Forbes Clark, Chairman of the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum. “As a longtime member of the Hall of Fame Board of Directors, Tom brought dignity and wisdom to this institution that will be deeply missed. His love for baseball history, and for the Hall of Fame, was reinforced in 2014, when he pledged the donation of his personal baseball collection to the Museum. His wonderful legacy will be preserved forever in Cooperstown.”
Seaver, who served in the U.S. Marine Corps, was obtained by the Mets in a special draft lottery in 1966 and earned the 1967 National League Rookie of the Year Award. “Tom Terrific” went on to help change the team from lovable losers into the “Miracle Mets,” bringing the team its first World Championship in 1969 in only its eighth year of play, while earning his first of three National League Cy Young awards.
Seaver won National League ERA titles in three of the next four seasons, capturing his second Cy Young Award in 1973 while leading the Mets to the N.L. pennant. In 1970, Seaver tied a major league record, striking out 19 San Diego Padres in a game that included a record 10 consecutive strikeouts to end the game. In 1975, Seaver won his third NL Cy Young Award. In addition to his 12 seasons with the Mets, Seaver spent parts of six seasons with the Cincinnati Reds, three with the Chicago White Sox and one with the Boston Red Sox.
“Tom’s fierceness as a competitor was matched by his daily preparation and workout regimen,” said Tim Mead, President of the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum. “Intelligent, passionate, disciplined, respectful and driven, he was as fine a pitcher as the game has seen.”
After pitching five one-hitters, Seaver no-hit the Cardinals in 1978, and in 1981 became the fifth player in history to record 3,000 strikeouts. He returned to the Mets for the 1983 season, then won a total of 31 games for the White Sox in 1984 and 1985 before officially retiring during the 1987 season. Seaver pitched for the summer league Alaska Goldpanners and attended the University of Southern California before inking his first professional contract.
Tom Seaver’s Hall of Fame plaque (elected, 1992)
George Thomas Seaver
New York, N.L., 1967-77, 1983
Cincinnati, N.L., 1977-82
Chicago, A.L., 1984-86
Boston, A.L., 1986
Franchise power pitcher who transformed Mets from lovable losers into formidable foes. Won 311 games over 20 seasons. Set N.L. career record for strikeouts by RHP (3,272) and modern record for lowest ERA (2.73). Whiffed 200 or more N.L. record 10 times (19 in a single game). N.L. Rookie of the Year, 1967 and 3-Time Cy Young awardee. No-hit Cards in 1978.
Quotes About Tom Seaver
“Kid, I know who you are, and before your career is over, I guarantee you everyone in this stadium will, too.”
– Hall of Fame member Hank Aaron, introducing himself to Tom Seaver at the 1967 All-Star Game
“My idea of managing is giving the ball to Tom Seaver and then sitting down and watching him work.”
– Hall of Fame member Sparky Anderson, manager of Tom Seaver
“I never knew a pitcher with such great knowledge of pitching. He had such a great mind, he could out-think the hitters.”
– Hall of Fame member Johnny Bench, teammate of Tom Seaver
“Tom Seaver was the driving force behind the players, always pushing the team to be better than they were, never letting them settle.”
– Hall of Fame member Ralph Kiner, former Mets broadcaster and Hall of Fame Member
“Tom Seaver was the symbol of the Mets in the early years and the cornerstone of the championships in 1969 and 1973.”
– Frank Cashen, former Mets General Manager
“I didn’t feel there was any way he could miss. I mean, here was a guy who was throwing gas, the mid-90s, on the corners.”
– Jerry Grote, Mets catcher on Tom Seaver’s first years with the team
“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.’”
– Cleon Jones, teammate of Tom Seaver
Quotes From Tom Seaver
“I loved what I did. I loved 60 feet, six inches.”
“All of a sudden, these guys that you can’t believe you’re playing with are all patting you on the back. That (the 1967 All-Star Game) was the turning point for me as a professional that, yes, it can happen and you can do this as well as anybody. I may have been paid before, but that’s when I really became a professional.”
“It is an honor to play this game, to be blessed with talent. It was an art form, a physical and mental art form.”
“Getting to the Hall of Fame is spectacular. It is the dream of anyone who ever put on a uniform.”