Mets greats all the time knew Tom Seaver was one thing particular
Ron Swoboda knew from the beginning the Mets had one thing particular.
Then a third-year outfielder with the group, Swoboda watched Seaver pitch his first sport for the Mets in 1967 and couldn’t assist however marvel on the right-hander’s expertise.
“As quickly as I noticed him pitch the primary time, I stated to myself, ‘He has Corridor of Fame stuff,’ ” Swoboda stated Wednesday, after it was introduced the 75-year-old pitcher had died from problems of dementia and COVID-19. “He simply has to build up these numbers to get into the Corridor.”
The Mets had been the laughingstock of baseball within the 5 seasons earlier than Seaver arrived, however that was about to start out altering.
“When he joined us as a rookie, he pitched like a 35-year-old,” Ed Kranepool stated. “He had a fantastic head on his shoulders. We grew to become a unique group when he walked into the locker room in 1967.”
In a 20-year profession, Seaver gained 311 video games and three Nationwide League Cy Younger awards. However he’ll all the time be remembered because the centerpiece of the 1969 Miracle Mets, which shocked the Orioles within the World Sequence.
Seaver went 25-7 with a 2.21 ERA for that group to win the primary of his Cy Younger awards.
“Tom Seaver hated to lose,” catcher Jerry Grote stated. “In Might 1969 we had a celebration within the locker room after we reached .500 for the primary time. Tom stated, ‘We wish greater than .500, we would like a championship.’ ”
In retirement, Seaver grew to become revered by a brand new era of Mets. He returned to the group for good as a broadcaster in 1999 — following a stint within the Yankees TV sales space — and later grew to become seen on the Mets’ signature occasions. Included was throwing the ceremonial final pitch, to Mike Piazza, at Shea Stadium’s closing in 2008. The following yr Seaver threw out the primary pitch to christen Citi Subject.
“I’ll all the time treasure our friendship,” Piazza stated. “Tom was all the time rooting for me to get into the Corridor. Two of my fondest recollections are strolling out of Shea Stadium after the final sport after which when he threw the ceremonial first pitch to me at Citi Subject the following yr. He was certainly one of a sort.”
Seaver started withdrawing from the highlight within the final decade (his household revealed final yr that he had dementia), however nonetheless saved tabs with the group. Included was a relationship shaped with David Wright.
“Tom and I had a fantastic relationship,” Wright stated. “I feel he noticed just a little of himself in me, I used to be homegrown, identical to he was. He known as me sometimes, however we’d by no means speak about baseball. We might speak about life.”
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