The New York Mets will honor the late Tom Seaver today at 10:30 a.m. with the unveiling of a long-awaited statue to commemorate the life and career of the Hall of Famer pitcher. Following the ceremony the Mets will host their home opener against the Arizona Diamondbacks at 1 p.m.
Seaver, who passed away in 2020 due to complications with Lewy Body Dementia and COVID-19, was a 12-time All Star and 3-time Cy Young Award winner. He was an integral member of the Mets 1969 World Series Championship team, and the 1973 National League Champions.
Initially signed by the Atlanta Braves in 1966, Seaver didn’t sign because 1) USC played two exhibition games making him ineligible to be drafted, and 2) Seaver wanted to stay in school. Seaver would eventually end up in a lottery, where he was selected by the New York Mets. In 12 seasons with the Mets, Seaver won 198 games and struck out 2,541 batters, earning the moniker “Tom Terrific.”
“When I meet friends at Citi Field, it’s always, ‘I’ll meet you at The Apple.’ From now on it’s going to be, ‘Meet me at the Seaver statue.’“— SNY (@SNYtv) April 15, 2022
The Tom Seaver Statue: What the overdue honor really means for Mets fans (via @NYNJHarper) https://t.co/HNFcHkMXvA
➡️ @Cadillac pic.twitter.com/Ujwhe3hH5T
Seaver’s legendary Mets career ended in 1977 when he was shockingly traded to the Cincinnati Reds in what has been dubbed the Midnight Massacre. Mets GM M. Donald Grant refused to give Seaver the contract extension he wanted and traded him to Cincinnati for Steve Henderson, Doug Flynn and Dan Norman.
Seaver would go on to great success in a Reds uniform, winning 75 games and pitching his first career no-hitter against the St. Louis Cardinals in 1978.
Seaver would eventually return to New York in 1983, but in 1984 the Mets left Seaver’s contract unprotected, and the veteran was signed by the Chicago White Sox, another move that shocked many. Seaver would win his 300th game in a White Sox uniform at Yankee Stadium on August 4, 1985.
After ending his career in Boston, and ironically watching his old Mets team win the World Series against the Sox in 1986, Seaver retired. His number 41 jersey was retired by the Mets in 1988. It was the only players number retired until Mike Piazza’s number 31 was retired in 2016.
In the late 90s and early 2000’s Seaver was a mainstay on Mets television broadcasts for WPIX Channel 11, doing games with Gary Thorne and Howie Rose.