Born In: Fresno, California, United States
Tom Seaver was one of America’s most celebrated professional baseball pitchers. He started pitching at the age of nine; but failed to compete with his teammates because of his smaller size. Not the one to give up, he soon started studying the game and later as he improved in height and weight started using both his muscles and intellect to become one of the most sought-after American pitchers. Starting his professional career in 1967, he played 20 seasons in Major League Baseball, pitching for New York Mets from 1967 to 1977 and then again in 1983; for Cincinnati Reds from 1977 to 1982; for Chicago White Sox from 1984 to 1986 and finally for Boston Red Sox in 1986. During this period, he compiled a lifetime 311-205 record, 3,640 strikeouts, a 2.86 ERA and five 20-win seasons. After injury forced him to retire in 1987, he went into broadcasting.
Also Known As: George Thomas Seaver, Tom Terrific, the Franchise
Died At Age: 75
Spouse/Ex-: Nancy Lynn McIntyre (m. 1966)
father: Charles Henry Seaver
mother: Betty Lee Seaver
children: Anne Elizabeth Seaver, Sarah Seaver
Born Country: United States
place of death: Calistoga, California, United States
Diseases & Disabilities: Dementia
Cause of Death: Deaths From The COVID-19 Pandemic
U.S. State: California
Tom Seaver was born on November 17, 1944 in Fresno, a city located in the US state of California. His father, Charles, was an executive with the Bonner Packing Company while his mother, Betty Lee Seaver, was a homemaker.
Born youngest of his parents’ three children, he had an elder brother named Charles Henry Seaver, Jr and a sister called Carol Lee Baker. From his father’s second marriage, he possibly had another sibling, but nothing is known about him/her.
Seaver joined the North Rotary team in the Fresno Little League at the age of 9 as a pitcher and outfielder and by twelve pitched his first no-hitter. Lacking in size and strength, he soon started lagging behind his teammates.
Not to be outdone, he started studying the art of pitching, looking up to Sandy Koufax as his role model, watching his every move, and learning about pitching even when Koufax lost. Very soon, he was pitching for his high school, using not only his limbs, but also his intellect.
In 1962, he graduated from Fresno High School. Same year on June 28, he joined the US Marine Corps Reserve, graduating from the boot camp three months later, thereafter undertaking three months of active duty at Camp Pendleton, serving with AIRFMFPAC 29 Palms through July 1963.
After six months of active service at the Marine Corps, Tom Seaver entered Fresno City College, concurrently, remaining a part time member of the corps until his eight-year commitment ended in 1970. By then, he had grown from 5 feet 9 inches, 160-pounds to 6 feet 1 inch, 210 pounds.
In 1964, his performance for the Fresno City College attracted the attention of Rod Dedeaux, the head coach at University of Southern California. Since Dedeaux had only five scholarships to offer, he sent Seaver to Alaska to pitch for Goldpanners of Fairbanks in order to test his capability.
For his brilliant performance in Alaska, Tom Seaver was not only offered the much-coveted scholarship at the University of California, but also a place in the USC Trojans. Although initially he enrolled at a pre-dental course, he soon changed his major to journalism so that he could continue with his game.
In 1966, he signed a professional contract with the Atlanta Braves. However, the Baseball Commissioner ruled it void because USC Trojans had played two exhibition games that year, albeit without his participation. Neither was he allowed to participate in the college games because he had signed a pro contract.
As his father threatened law suit, the Commission ruled that if other teams matched Atlanta’s offer of $51,500, they could participate in a lottery for his services. Ultimately, he joined the New York Mets.
In 1966, Tom Seaver began his professional baseball career with the Jacksonville Suns, the New York Mets’ affiliate in the International League, earning the nickname of "Tom Terrific" in the very first season. In all, he won sixteen games and pitched in the All-Star game, conquering the hearts of Mets fans.
He made the Mets' roster in 1967 and was named to the All-Star Game, making major league debut on 13 April. During the season, he was 16–13 for the last-place Mets, with 18 complete games and 170 strikeouts.
In 1968, he started for the Mets on the Opening Day, an honor reserved only for special players. Eventually he would make 16 starts, 11 of which were for the Mets, a record that speaks of both his greatness and longevity.
In October 1969, he helped his team to win 1969 National League Championship Series. Shortly, he also led his team to its first victory in the World Series. Since the Mets had never finished higher than ninth place, the win was considered one of the greatest upsets in the World Series history.
On April 22, 1970, he set a major league record by striking out the final 10 batters of the game in a 2–1 win over the San Diego Padres. In the following year, he led the league both in earned run average (1.76) and strikeouts (289 in 286 innings).
Continuing to play, he debuted in broadcasting in 1977, being invited to serve as a World Series analyst for ABC. In the same year, he became involved in a salary dispute with the club president, eventually being traded to the Cincinnati Reds on June 15, 1977, remaining with them till 1982.
On December 16, 1982, Tom Seaver was traded back to the Mets and began pitching for them from April 1983. It is believed that he was offered around $750,000 for the 1983 season and a slightly lower salary for each of the next three years.
In January 1984, Tom Seaver was claimed by Chicago White Sox in a free-agent compensation draft. He remained with them for two and half seasons, recording his last shutout on July 19, 1985 and his 300th victory over the Yankees on August 4.
In 1986, he was traded to Boston Red Sox, where he started on Opening Day for the 16th and last time of his career. His 311th and final win came on August 18 in a game against Minnesota Twins. However, because of a salary dispute, he left the team at the end of the season.
In 1987, Tom Seaver rejoined the New York Mets without signing a formal contract. But unfortunately, he could not finish the season because of several injuries, which forced him to announce his retirement in the very year. In the following year, his jersey number 41 was retired by the Mets.
In 1967, Tom Seaver was declared he National League's Rookie of the Year and was voted Male Athlete of the Year in 1969.
In 1969, 1973, 1975, he was awarded with Cy Young Award by the Major League Baseball.
On January 7, 1992, he was elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame with 98.84% of votes.
On June 9, 1966, Tom Seaver married Nancy Lynn McIntyre. The couple had daughters, Sarah and Anne. They lived in Calistoga, California, where he ran his own vineyard called the Seaver Family Vineyards.
In 2013, it was reported that he was suffering from memory loss, sleep disorder and nausea, which developed into dementia by 2019. He died of complications arising out of Lewy body dementia and COVID-19 on August 31, 2020.
In 2019, New York City changed the address of Citi Field to 41 Seaver Way.
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