Seaver’s 3000th strikeout puts him in select company
It remains one of the elite fraternities of baseball, with only 18 members through the 2019 season.
But when Tom Seaver joined the 3,000 strikeout club on April 18, 1981, the number of pitchers in that club could be measured by the digits on a human hand.
Seaver’s third-inning strikeout of the Cardinals’ Keith Hernandez gave the Reds’ ace 3,000 Ks for his career. He joined Walter Johnson, Gaylord Perry, Bob Gibson and Nolan Ryan on that exclusive list, with Perry’s 3,283 strikeouts making him the active career leader on that date.
A 10-4 loss to St. Louis that day dampened Seaver’s enthusiasm for the milestone, but it would be one of just two losses Seaver would suffer during a campaign that saw him finish the year with a mark of 14-2.
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"He’s one of those pitchers that comes along every 50 years,” said Reds pitching coach Bill Fischer.
Seaver was elected to the Hall of Fame in 1992.
Craig Muder is the director of communications for the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum