Tom Seaver, heart and mighty arm of Miracle Mets, dies at 75

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Tom Seaver transformed a franchise and captivated a city, setting enduring standards as he whipped his powerful right arm overhead for the Miracle Mets and dirtied his right knee atop major league mounds for two decades.

A consummate pro and pitching icon, he finished fulfilled after a career remembered with awe long after his final strikeout.

Seaver's family announced in March 2019 he had been diagnosed with dementia and had retired from public life. He continued working at Seaver Vineyards, founded by the three-time NL Cy Young Award winner and his wife, Nancy, in 2002 on 116 acres at Diamond Mountain in the Calistoga region of Northern California.

"He was simply the greatest Mets player of all-time and among the best to ever play the game," Mets owner Fred Wilpon and son Jeff, the team's chief operating officer, said in a statement. Seaver's plaque in Cooperstown lauds him as a "power pitcher who helped change the New York Mets from lovable losers into formidable foes." He changed not only their place in the standings but the team's stature in people's minds.

He threw his only no-hitter for the Reds in June 1978 against St. Louis and was traded back to New York after the 1982 season. But Mets general manager Frank Cashen blundered by leaving Seaver off his list of 26 protected players, and in January 1984 he was claimed by the Chicago White Sox as free agent compensation for losing pitcher Dennis Lamp to Toronto.

"From a team standpoint, winning the '69 world championship is something I'll remember most," Seaver said in 1992. "From an individual standpoint, my 300th win brought me the most joy." "This is so very appropriate because he made the New York Mets the team that it is," said Ron Swoboda, the right fielder whose sprawling catch helped Seaver pitch the Mets to a 10-inning win in Game 4 of the '69 Series against Baltimore. "He gave them credibility.""Just a class act. Just a gentleman in the way he handled himself, and really the way handled his whole career," said Miami manager Don Mattingly, a former New York Yankees captain.

 

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