Known as the greatest Mets player of all time and one of the best pitchers in the history of the game, Tom Seaver who led the Amazins to the unlikely 1969 World Series title died on Wednesday. He was 75 years old.
The Baseball Hall of Fame said in a press release that Seaver died while sleeping from complications from Lewy dementia and COVID-19.
A three-time Cy Young Award winner and twelve-time All-Star, Seaver spent the first 12 years of his career with the Mets. Of his 311 career wins, 198 came with the Mets.
MLB commissioner Rob Manfred said in a statement that Seaver "was a gentleman who represented the best of our national pastime. He was synonymous with the New York Mets and their memorable 1969 season. Tom became a household name for their unlikely World Cup Baseball Fans – A responsibility he has lived his whole life with honors. On behalf of Major League Baseball, I would like to express my condolences to Tom's family, his admirers during our game, Mets fans, and the many people he has touched. "
"We are heartbroken to announce that our beloved husband and father has passed away," said his wife, Nancy Seaver, and daughters, Sarah and Anne. "We send our love to his fans as we mourn his loss with them."
Before Seaver was selected by the Mets in a special draft lottery in 1966, he served in the U.S. Marine Corps.
Seaver entered the major leagues in 1967 at the age of 22 and won the "Rookie of the Year" award. Two years later, he won his first Cy Young Award and led the team with 25 victories on the road to the World Series title – the first in the franchise's eight-year history, previously associated primarily with futility.
The Mets legend died in his sleep on Monday, according to his family.
He would have the best-earned run average in the National League in three of the next four years. In 1970, he set what was then an MLB record by beating 19 batters in a game against the San Diego Padres, including a record of 10 consecutive strikeouts to finish the game. As a member of the Cincinnati Reds, he threw a no-hitter in 1978 and three years later became the fifth person to record 3,000 strikes in a career.
"Tom was called" The Franchise "and" Tom Terrific "because he was really valuable to our organization and our loyal fans as his number 41 was the first player number to be withdrawn from the organization in 1988. He was simply the greatest of the Mets Player of all time and one of the best to have ever played the game, "Mets owners Fred and Jeff Wilpon said in a statement. "Aside from the multitude of awards, records, accolades, world championships, all-star appearances and general brilliance, we will always remember Tom for his passion and dedication for his family, the baseball game and his vineyard."
He was an All-Star in each of his first seven seasons with the team. He later played with the Cincinnati Reds, Chicago White Sox, and Boston Red Sox. He retired in 1987 with a 2.86 ERA over his 20 year career.
Seaver was elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1992 with 98.8 percent of the vote – the closest thing to a unanimous selection before Mariano Rivera got 100 percent in 2019. The iconic franchise dropped out of public life in March 2019 after being diagnosed with dementia.