A New Test for Seaver

Tom Seaver with the Mets

It was with sadness that I read Tom Seaver has dementia. He’s 74 now and owns a vineyard in California. But to me he will always be the great pitcher I saw in the 1970s.

I’m not certain who gets credit as the greatest pitcher I ever saw, but I know Seaver makes the top 10 easily, and probably is in the upper half. He was a joy to watch with the great push-off his legs, the telltale dirt mark on his trousers where his leg scrapped the ground as he delivered a pitch. There seemed to be no-nonsense with him when he went to the mound, a trait that appears common among most great pitchers. He pitched quickly and economically in both motion and number of pitches. To me, Steve Carlton personified determination, Sandy Koufax elegance, and Bob Gibson fierceness. But Seaver had a touch of all of those.

It’s been 50 years since the Miracle Mets. Seaver was the face of that team. It’s unusual for a pitcher to be the face of a team. They don’t go out everyday like a position player, but it does occur (Carlton, Koufax, and Gibson all accomplished it). Seaver won the Cy Young that year (1969), the first of three (He’d already picked up a Rookie of the Year award). His family has already announced he will not attend any of the celebrations in conjunction with the 50th Anniversary. That’s a great shame.

I never rooted for his teams. I liked Baltimore in 1969, the A’s in 1973, and never cared much for the Reds, or either color of sox (he played for both the White Sox and Red Sox), but you almost couldn’t help rooting for him. I presume I join a legion of fans in wishing him well and join others in saying, “Good luck, Tom Terrific.” We’re pulling for you.

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5 Responses to “A New Test for Seaver”

  1. Sean Thornton Says:

    It was tough to hear that about Seaver. I believe we are all wishing him the best moving forward.

  2. Miller Says:

    Seaver is among my favorite players ever. Reasonable people can be anti-Clemens. If they are and if they timeline, it’s possible to call Seaver the best pitcher who’s ever thrown a ball.

    Even if he’s not, he has my favorite look in history when about to throw a ball.

    Thank you for this, v.

  3. glenrussellslater Says:

    V, Tom Seaver and the Mets were my whole world while I was growing up, so I don’t have to tell you how I felt when hearing this dreadful news.

    Glen

  4. rjkitch13 Says:

    Sad news. He did pitch on my Reds for a little while so I do remember him.

  5. wkkortas Says:

    While Seaver was not a great broadcaster, no one was more eloquent or entertaining when it came to the discussion of pitching. It is sad that Tom Terrific won’t be able to bask in the limelight of the golden anniversary of the Miracle Mets.

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