New York Mets pitching legend Tom Seaver died Monday at the age of 75, according to the National Baseball Hall of Fame. Nicknamed “Tom Terrific,” his blazing fastball helped the Mets organization climb out of the cellar to a World Series Championship in his first three seasons.
Seaver passed away in Calistoga, California from complications of Lewy body dementia and COVID-19. In March 2019, Seaver’s family announced he had been diagnosed with dementia. As a result, he retired from public life.
He continued working at Seaver Vineyards, a family business the three-time Cy Young winner founded with his wife, Nancy, in 2002. Prior to establishing the vineyard, medical experts diagnosed Seaver with Lyme disease in 1999. In 2012, it reoccurred and led to Bell’s palsy and memory loss.
As his health declined, he limited his public appearances. In fact, he did not attend the Baseball Writers’ Association of America dinner in 2019. During this event, members of the 1969 Mets were honored on the 50th anniversary of their 1969 World Series Championship.
Several months later, the Mets announced plans to erect a statue of Seaver outside Citi Field. There was also a ceremony where the ballpark’s address was officially changed to 41 Seaver Way. The Hall of Famer did not attend either of these events. His daughter Sarah Seaver served as proxy.
Seaver pitched for the Mets from 1967 to 1977, before being traded to the Cincinnati Reds. He pitched his lone no-hitter for the Reds in June 1978 against St. Louis. He was then traded back to New York at the end of the 1982 season.
Unfortunately, Seaver was left off the team’s roster and claimed by the Chicago White Sox in January 1984. While wearing a White Sox uniform, Seaver earned his 300th win against the New York Yankees. He finished his career with the 1986 Boston Red Sox team that lost to the Mets in the World Series.
Seaver was a five-time 20-game winner and the 1967 NL Rookie of the Year. He went 311-205 with a 2.86 ERA, 3,640 strikeouts, and 61 shutouts in his 20 seasons as an MLB pitcher. During his first three years with the Mets, he led the team from last place to World Series Champs.
He was elected to the Hall of Fame in 1992, appearing on 425 of 430 ballots for a then-record 98.84%. On the afternoon he was inducted into the Hall of Fame, Seaver said “It is the last beautiful flower in the perfect bouquet.”