Tom Seaver was born November 17, 1944, in Fresno, California. He would begin little league ball at the age of nine, and at twelve, pitch his first no-hitter. He was also the team's leading hitter. But Seaver's little league stardom would not last long. He was a late-bloomer, and found himself lagging behind his teammates. He lacked the size and strength to participate in sports, and after a while pure talent only took him so far.
To remedy this, Seaver became a student of the game. In fact, not hitting his growth spurt early on was one of the best things that could ever have happened to him. Seaver studied the art of pitching; he learned every pitch he could get his hands on. His hero was Sandy Koufax. "Seeing his concentration level was amazing," he told author James Mauro. "I learned about pitching from watching Koufax, even when he lost."
Even though Seaver was unable to throw as hard or as fast as other pitchers, eventually, after some time performing manual labor, and then after serving his stint in the Marines, Seaver at last had the physical size and strength to accompany his vast knowledge about the art of pitching. He earned a baseball scholarship to the University of Southern California, and was drafted into the majors.