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Tom Seaver
#41 | Pitcher | New York Mets


George Thomas Seaver: "Tom Terrific"

Tom Seaver

     He arose like a character from some movie - a formidable power pitcher who won the Cy Young Award three times and led the National League in strikeouts 5 times, he changed the New York Mets from lovable losers into World Champions.  In his 10 years in New York from 1967 to 1977, he won 25% of the Mets' games.  He won 311 games with a 2.86 ERA over 20 seasons and set a National League career record for strikeouts by a right-handed pitcher (3,272).  Seaver whiffed 200 or more 10 times and once fanned 19 in a single game.  He was the National League Rookie of the Year in 1967.

 

          The Mets got Seaver by a strange turn of luck - in 1966, the Braves offered him $40,000, but the NCAA and baseball commissioner William Eckert voided the offer and made Seaver, still at USC, available to any team willing to match the Braves' offer.  When three teams came forward - the Phillies, Indians, and Mets - Eckert held a a drawing held in the commissioner's office, the Mets were picked out of a hat.  Seaver was an immediate star, picked to the All-Star team in his first season when he won 16 games for a Met team that went just 61-101 in 1967, and captured Rookie of the Year honors.

 

     He was overshadowed by Steve Carlton (27-10, 1.97 ERA) in 1972, but owned the ERA title in 1970, 1971 and 1973.  He led the league in strikeouts 5 times. 

 

     

"If the Mets can win the World Series, the United States can get out of Vietnam."

- Tom Seaver

 

"If you don't think baseball is a big deal, don't do it. But if you do, do it right."

- Tom Seaver

 

"There are only two places in the league - first place and no place."

- Tom Seaver

 

"Yeah, but you forgot one thing: I'm the only pitcher in the history of the Mets

who's lost a ball game in the World Series."

 

- Tom Seaver

(replying to a fan who started telling him about his career accomplishments).

Seaver lost Game 1 of the 1969 World Series, and won Game 4 with a terrific 10-inning, 

6-hit performance.  Since then, Jon Matlack (1973), Harry Parker (1973),

Turk Wendell (2000), Mike Hampton (2000), Bobby Jones (2000) and Al Leiter (2000) 

have also lost World Series contests for the New York Mets. 

 

Picture from National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum, Inc.


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