Once A Met
Seaver ended up with the New York Mets in 1966 when the Atlanta Braves, who made Seaver an offer
while he was still in college, found that their offer had been declared void. Any team that could match the Braves' offer, the commissioner of baseball declared, could have him. The Mets won a lottery, and Seaver became a New York Met.
In his first season with the Mets he earned the nickname "Tom Terrific." Seaver won sixteen games, pitched in the All-Star game, and began capturing the hearts of Mets fans, who prior to Seaver didn't have much to cheer for—and still, the team won only sixty-one games that year. But they now had Tom, who came with a trademark style: "The hand cocking back at almost sidearm height," as James Mauro described it in Psychology Today. "[His] eyes sighting the catcher's mitt like a laser-guided missile launcher; right arm windmilling over the head. And then that whole powerful, boyish body going down on one knee almost, so that when the rocket was fired and the target hit, there would be a smudge of dirt on the uniform where it had scraped the mound."
On April 22, 1970, Seaver struck out nineteen Padres, a record ten in a row to end the game, which tied a then-major league record for a nine-inning game. Seaver routinely won twenty or more games in a season, often leading the National League in strikeouts and earned run average (ERA). In 1973, he led the Mets to the second national league pennant in their short history, going on to win the Cy Young Award.
Seaver feels his best season was the 1971 season, in which he compiled a 20-10 record and led the league for the second straight year with a 1.76 ERA and 289 strikeouts. In his ten years playing for the New York Mets, Seaver would compile an astonishing 25% of the Mets' wins. He was the 17th 300 game winner in major league history, and struck out 200 or more batters in ten seasons (nine straight seasons from 1968 to 1976). He also took home three Cy Young awards.
In the end, "Tom Terrific" won 311 games with an average 2.86 ERA over twenty seasons in the majors. His 3,272 strikeouts set a National League career record, and he struck out 3,640 batters overall. The Mets would win their first World Series in franchise history, in 1969, with the help of Seaver's awesome performances on the mound.