Sunday, March 6, 2011

Familiar Faces / Strange Places: Tom Seaver / Red Sox

Tom Seaver was one heck of a pitcher. During a 20-year career, Seaver compiled 311 wins, 3,640 strikeouts, and a 2.86 earned run average. In 1992, he was inducted into the Hall of Fame by the highest percentage ever recorded (98.8%)>. He is most remembered as a New York Met and has the distinction of the only plaque at Cooperstown wearing a New York Mets hat. As of 2010, Seaver is still the only Met player to have his jersey number retired by the team.

In 1977, after 10 terrific years in New York he was traded to the Cincinnati Reds. Free Agency was still developing and the Mets ownership and NY media had soured negotiations to the point where Seaver demanded a trade. While he was a Red, Seaver pitched his only career no-hitter and finished second in the 1981 Cy Young award voting. By the end of the 1982 season, it was clear that Seaver's best days as a pitcher were behind him.

He was traded back to the Mets during the off-season and set a major league record by starting on opening day for the 14th time in his career (he made two more opening day starts for the White Sox and finished his career with 16). Everyone thought he was going to finish his career in New York as a Met, but the White Sox claimed him in a free-agent compensation draft and he was gone again.

He won his 300th game as a member of the Chicago White Sox (in New York against the Yankees). He spent his final big league days as a member of the 1986 Boston Red Sox. He did not get to play in the famous 1986 World Series (against the Mets) because he had a knee injury, but he did receive one of the loudest ovations (from the Mets fans) during the player introductions before Game #1.


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