Recommended by Ricochet Members Created with Sketch. Rest in Peace, Tom Terrific

 

I just heard the sad news that Tom Seaver died today at 75 from complications of Lewy Body Dementia and COVID. I know that there are many on Ricochet of my age who grew up in New York when Tom Seaver and the ’69 Mets performed the improbable and won the World Series. Even in Catholic school we were allowed to watch the World Series on TV. He was a gentleman, an electrifying player, “The Franchise” and a very handsome man. My preteen cousins and I adored him. When I was in my thirties and living in California, Tom Seaver came to my University during a promotional tour for a museum exhibit on baseball. A colleague called me and said we had to go see him because he was going to throw batting practice to some lucky fans. We played hooky from work and went to the ball field and put our names into the lottery. I nearly fainted when my name was called and tried to get my friend to go instead. But he said no, so I went up to the batters box-the first woman called. He had been lobbing pitches to the previous hitters but I guess he thought it would be funny to throw a fastball to a woman. After some flirty banter, he threw a fastball over the plate. Unbeknownst to him only a few weeks before I had gone to the batting cages with my brothers and for the first time selected fastballs instead of softball throws. So I had figured out you had to start swinging as soon as the ball was released. I missed but he said “Nice swing”. He threw another and I hit a foul ball. I started to walk away and he said “You’re not done yet”. He threw another and I hit a single to right field! I was so thrilled! I went back to the lab to tell everyone, but no one had heard of Tom Seaver. So I went out to the payphone and called everyone I knew in NY until I got hold of one of my relatives. I still tell everyone that I hit a single off of Tom Seaver!

As was all of New York, I was heartbroken to learn that he was suffering from dementia. And now he is gone and I know all who remembered those heady days of New York baseball are mourning with me. Rest in Peace, Tom Seaver.

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  1. EJHill Podcaster
    EJHillJoined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    I’ll just leave this here for all the Mets fans…

    • #1
    • September 2, 2020, at 11:23 PM PDT
    • 6 likes
  2. The Cloaked Gaijin Member

    I remember him winning his 300th game. 

    I guess many of the players I used to watch will start to pass away from old age. Sad.

    I mostly just used to follow the Cardinals and the National League.

    Darrell Porter and Joaquín Andújar died young at 50 and 62, but they both had drug problems, although their “snowbird” teammates Lonnie Smith and Keith Hernandez seemed to survive their cocaine demons.

    Bob Gibson, 84, is still around from his pancreatic cancer diagnosis from last year. Sandy Koufax is also still around at age 84. Whitey Ford, 92, is supposedly the oldest Hall of Famer pitcher and player excluding manager Tommy Lasorda who is about 1 year older. Willie Mays is the next oldest Hall of Famer at age 89.

    Speedster Lou Brock, 81, had to have his leg amputated five years ago.

    The only other players born in 1944 that I recognize as having passed away are Tug McGraw, Rusty Staub, and maybe George Scott, and like Seaver the first two also played for the Mets. Former Met and Hall of Famer Nolan Ryan is still around, but I guess he is a bit younger than Seaver. Even though Ryan pitched forever he seemed older due to his thinning hair, slow Texas drawl, and slow, high leg kick.

    • #2
    • September 2, 2020, at 11:43 PM PDT
    • 5 likes
  3. EODmom Coolidge

    Thanks – that’s a sweet and very special memory. I was living in NJ then and the ‘69 Mets! – what a year. 

    • #3
    • September 3, 2020, at 1:38 AM PDT
    • 2 likes
  4. Dave L Member
    Dave LJoined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    RIP- Tom Seaver. The memories of our youth passing on.

    • #4
    • September 3, 2020, at 2:12 AM PDT
    • 2 likes
  5. Seawriter Contributor

    Memory Eternal.

    • #5
    • September 3, 2020, at 5:14 AM PDT
    • Like
  6. ctlaw Coolidge

    The most enjoyable baseball game I have attended was one where Seaver pitched for the Boston Red Sox in 1986.

    The Red Sox clearly had a good team that year. With Seaver’s addition to Clemens and Hurst, the mood was beyond optimistic.

    • #6
    • September 3, 2020, at 5:20 AM PDT
    • Like
  7. Vance Richards Member
    Vance RichardsJoined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    My friend was a huge Met fan and tried to mimic Seaver’s delivery, dropping down to where he was almost on his knee. My friend didn’t have the same results as Seaver though.

    • #7
    • September 3, 2020, at 5:37 AM PDT
    • 2 likes
  8. Jon1979 Lincoln

    The image I remember Seaver best from is delivering a pitch to home plate with the white Shea Stadium fence (when was the fence at Shea painted white?) in the background, since it was the one used at the start of Mets broadcasts on WOR for the better part of a decade. It’s at 0:17 in this video:

    • #8
    • September 3, 2020, at 6:12 AM PDT
    • 1 like
  9. Chris Oler Coolidge
    Chris OlerJoined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    EJHill (View Comment):

    I’ll just leave this here for all the Mets fans…

    Yup. Reds’ fans loved him, too. RIP.

    LOVE the BP story, @gossamercat. Fantastic!

    • #9
    • September 3, 2020, at 6:39 AM PDT
    • 2 likes
    • This comment has been edited.
  10. Gossamer Cat Coolidge
    Gossamer Cat

    EJHill (View Comment):

    I’ll just leave this here for all the Mets fans…

    Yes he was with those other teams, but he will always be Mr. Met.

    • #10
    • September 3, 2020, at 8:08 AM PDT
    • 2 likes
  11. Gossamer Cat Coolidge
    Gossamer Cat

    Vance Richards (View Comment):

    My friend was a huge Met fan and tried to mimic Seaver’s delivery, dropping down to where he was almost on his knee. My friend didn’t have the same results as Seaver though.

    From a tribute by Mike Vaccaro:

    “The last time I spent with Seaver was one of those days that would’ve caused 8-year-old me to pass out where I stood back in 1975. We toured the Mets’ newly opened museum at Citi Field. He wept looking at pictures of Gil Hodges. He smiled watching video of young No. 41 striking out Willie Stargell.

    “Get that knee smudged, son,” he said, as if he knew that a generation of Seaver acolytes had spent years scraping their own knees in emulation and tribute.”

    • #11
    • September 3, 2020, at 8:54 AM PDT
    • 1 like
  12. Gossamer Cat Coolidge
    Gossamer Cat

    ctlaw (View Comment):

    The most enjoyable baseball game I have attended was one where Seaver pitched for the Boston Red Sox in 1986.

    The Red Sox clearly had a good team that year. With Seaver’s addition to Clemens and Hurst, the mood was beyond optimistic.

    I, as have most NY baseball fans, have completely blocked out the fact that he ever pitched for the Red Sox. Not letting him finish his career in NY was one of the great shames on the NY Mets.

    • #12
    • September 3, 2020, at 8:55 AM PDT
    • Like
  13. Kozak Member
    KozakJoined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    I saw Seaver pitch at Wrigley in the early 70’s. I had snagged a seat right behind home plate in the 2nd row.

    I could hear the conversations between the batters and the catcher.

     

    The second batter up for the Cubs was Glenn Beckert the 2nd baseman. Seaver threw him a curve, he backed away from the plate, “strike one!”

    He turned to the Mets catcher and said ” gonna be one of those days huh?”

    The catcher said ” Tom’s really got his stuff today”.

    Hell of a pitcher.

    • #13
    • September 3, 2020, at 1:21 PM PDT
    • 2 likes
  14. Mark Camp Member

    Another automatic entry for The Best of Ricochet 2020, for whoever is in charge of it.

    A timely remembrance delivered to us with writing that is sparkling clean, unaffected, just perfect.

    • #14
    • September 3, 2020, at 1:38 PM PDT
    • 2 likes
  15. Gossamer Cat Coolidge
    Gossamer Cat

    Gossamer Cat: I know that there are many on Ricochet of my age who grew up in New York when Tom Seaver and the ’69 Mets performed the improbable and won the World Series.

    I love this line from the Joel Sherman tribute column: “If you are of a certain age, you’ll always have Seaver.”

    • #15
    • September 3, 2020, at 3:46 PM PDT
    • 1 like
  16. Gumby Mark (R-Meth Lab of Demo… Thatcher

    One of my favorite players. Saw him pitch at Shea but what I remember best is watching him put on a pitching clinic beating the Angels 4-0 at Comiskey and being in Fenway to watch his first start with the Red Sox on July 1, 1986.

    • #16
    • September 3, 2020, at 4:04 PM PDT
    • 1 like