Oct. 31, 1973: Tom Seaver wins second Cy Young Award
In an era where victories were the main gauge of a pitcher’s success, Tom Seaver’s brilliance on the mound allowed him to buck the trend.
On Oct. 31, 1973, Seaver – the New York Mets ace – became the first pitcher in history to win the Cy Young Award without having at least 20 victories in that season. Seaver took home the NL Cy Young following a 19-10 campaign that saw him lead the National League in earned-run average (2.08), complete games (18) and strikeouts (251) but finish five games back of league-leader Ron Bryant in the win column.
“Sandy Koufax won the award three times and I’ve won it twice and have a chance to win it a third time,” said Seaver, who would go on to win his third Cy Young Award in 1975. “I hope I can pitch until I’m 35. When I started, I told my wife I’d be happy with five years in the big leagues. Things were different then when I broke in. Now I’m a winning pitcher.”
Seaver would pitch until age 41, retiring with a record of 311-205, a 2.86 ERA and 3,640 strikeouts.
He 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