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Tom Seaver

From Met To Red

Tom Seaver had an incredible period of undisputed dominance on the mound in the early to mid-1970s. His only off-season would come in 1974, when he developed a sore hip and finished with an 11-11 record and an ERA over 3.00 (3.20), the first time ever. Of course, the very next season he rocketed to 22-9, leading the league once again in strikeouts, wins, and winning percentage, as well winning the Cy Young.

In 1976, however, Seaver developed problems with Mets general manager, M. Donald Grant. They argued about Seaver's salary, and about how Grant ran the ball-club. In June of 1977, the Mets traded Seaver to the Cincinnati Reds for four players. Mets fans were devastated. With the Reds, Seaver would finally get his elusive no-hitter, on June 16, 1978, and go on to four winning years with the Reds.

Tom Seaver's career began to go downhill in 1982. He fell to a 5-13 mark that season, and the Reds traded Seaver back to the Mets. The Mets fans would rejoice only briefly, however. The White Sox lured him away after he was left unprotected in the free agent compensation pool. He won fifteen games for the Sox in 1984, 16 in 1985, and won his 300th game in a 4-1 complete game against the Yankees that season. On October 4, 1985, he moved past Walter Johnson and into third place on the all time strikeout list, where he finished his career.

In 1986 he pitched for the Red Sox, but an ankle injury kept him out of World Series play. The following season he was released, and ended up quitting rather than bounce somewhere else. Number 41 retired.

Since retiring from baseball, Seaver has been enjoying the perks of being a hero and one of the most recognizable names in baseball (especially to Mets fans). He insists on having fun, which is an attitude that served him well a few years ago, when in 1999 he was chosen to replace Tim McCarver as the on-air analyst for Mets baseball. The move was not one that happened without controversy. Seaver, as a total student of the game, knows more about baseball than most professional teams combined, but one of the criticisms is that he's too well-versed. It's been said that, when he talks about pitching, it's like hearing Einstein explain the theory of relativity. Regardless, Seaver now juggles among his duties his position as broadcaster and front office executive for the Mets. He often goes down to talk to the pitchers, but that's not what he's paid to do. It's more of a hobby.

Chronology

1944 Born November 17 in Fresno, California
1953 Begins playing Little League ball
1956 Pitches no-hitter at age of 12
1962 Earns baseball scholarship to University of Southern California
1966 Drafted by Braves
1966 Made free agent before career even begins, picked up by New York Mets
1969 Helps Mets to their first World Series Championship in franchise history
1970 Strikes out 19 in a win over the San Diego Padres, including ten in a row to end the game
1971 Smashes 8th inning homer in June 24th game to win his own game, 2-1
1971 Finishes season with 1.71 ERA, half the league average
1973 Leads Mets to their second National League pennant
1975 Reaches 200 strikeouts for major league record 8th straight season
1977 Traded by Mets to the Reds
1978 Throws first no-hitter for the Cincinnati Reds on June 10
1981 Stung by the players' strike and would lose in Cy Young balloting by three points
1982 Agrees to contract with Mets in a trade that sends him back to New York
1984 Stunning New York fans once more, Seaver is picked up by Chicago White Sox
1985 Sets major league record by making 15th of his 16 opening day starts
1985 Becomes 17th pitcher to win 300 games
1986 Makes his major league record 16th opening day start
1987 Abandons comeback attempt and announces his retirement
1992 Inducted to Baseball Hall of Fame with a record 98.8% of the vote
1999 Becomes broadcast booth color man for New York Mets and also serves as part-time coach for the team

Awards and Accomplishments

1967 National League Rookie of the Year
1967-73, 1975-78, 1981 National League All-Star Team
1969 Associated Press Male Athlete of the Year
1969 Named Sports Illustrated Sportsman of the Year
1969 Named Sporting News Man of the Year
1969 Awarded Hickock Bell award
1969, 1973, 1975 Winner of National League Cy Young Award
1981 National League Comeback Player of the Year
1992 Inducted into National Baseball Hall of Fame
1992 Honored by having his number, 41, retired by New York Mets

In 1992, Seaver was voted into the National Baseball Hall of Fame, netting 425 votes out of 430 ballots cast.

Additional topics

Famous Sports StarsBaseballTom Seaver Biography - Growing Up, Once A Met, From Met To Red, Chronology, Awards And Accomplishments