Tom Seaver, whose long, back-bending, knee-scraping strides toward the plate and aura of confidence and determination made him one of the best pitchers in the history of baseball, the greatest Met of all time and earned him the names “Tom Terrific” and “The Franchise,” has died. He was 75.
“We are heartbroken to share that our beloved husband and father has passed away……We send our love out to his fans, as we mourn his loss with you.”Nancy Seaver and daughters Sarah and Anne.
Seaver pitched in the Major Leagues for 20 seasons, winning 311 games and recording a 2.86 ERA. A 12-time All-Star (10 times from 1967-77), he struck out 3,640 batters, which currently ranks sixth all-time but was third, behind only Nolan Ryan and Steve Carlton, at the time of his retirement in 1986. Seaver led the National League in strikeouts five times from 1970-76, and he and Christy Mathewson are the only pitchers to record 300 wins, 3,000 strikeouts and an ERA below 3.00. Seaver’s 16 Opening Day starts is a Major League record.
“I am deeply saddened by the death of Tom Seaver, one of the greatest pitchers of all-time………..Tom was a gentleman who represented the best of our National Pastime. He was synonymous with the New York Mets and their unforgettable 1969 season. After their improbable World Series Championship, Tom became a household name to baseball fans – a responsibility he carried out with distinction throughout his life…..On behalf of Major League Baseball, I extend my condolences to Tom’s family, his admirers throughout our game, Mets fans, and the many people he touched.”Rob Manfred
“We are devastated to learn of the passing of Mets Legend and Baseball Hall of Famer Tom Seaver,” Mets owners Fred and Jeff Wilpon said in a statement. “Tom was nicknamed ‘The Franchise’ and ‘Tom Terrific’ because of how valuable he truly was to our organization and our loyal fans, as his #41 was the first player number retired by the organization in 1988. He was simply the greatest Mets player of all-time and among the best to ever play the game which culminated with his near unanimous induction into the National Baseball Hall of Fame in 1992.
“Beyond the multitude of awards, records, accolades, World Series Championship, All-Star appearances, and just overall brilliance, we will always remember Tom for his passion and devotion to his family, the game of baseball, and his vineyard.
“Our thoughts and prayers go out to his wife, Nancy, daughters Sarah and Anne and four grandsons, Thomas, William, Henry and Tobin.”
Though he successfully pitched for other teams — the Reds, White Sox and Red Sox — Seaver is most closely associated with the Mets and is universally regarded as their greatest player. Seaver led the Mets to their miracle 1969 championship, won 20 or more games for them four times, won three National League Cy Young Awards, three NL ERA titles and the 1967 NL Rookie of the Year Award, all while with the Mets. His uniform No. 41 was retired in 1988, the first such honor given to a Mets player.
Seaver was elected to the National Baseball Hall of Fame in 1992 with 98.8 percent of the vote, the highest voting percentage for a candidate until Ken Griffey Jr. received 99.3 percent of the vote in 2016. Mariano Rivera was elected unanimously in 2019.
“Tom Seaver’s life exemplified greatness in the game, as well as integrity, character, and sportsmanship — the ideals of a Hall of Fame career,” said Jane Forbes Clark, Chairman of the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum. “As a longtime member of the Hall of Fame Board of Directors, Tom brought dignity and wisdom to this institution that will be deeply missed. His love for baseball history, and for the Hall of Fame, was reinforced in 2014, when he pledged the donation of his personal baseball collection to the Museum. His wonderful legacy will be preserved forever in Cooperstown.”