The greatest Met and arguably the greatest pitcher since World War II passed away on Monday. Tom Weaver died in his sleep of complications of Lewy body dementia and COVID-19 according to the National Baseball Hall of Fame.
Seaver played for 20 seasons and in that time, he amassed more bWAR than all but five players. With the exception of Roger Clemens, none of those players played past 1930. Seaver won the Rookie of the Year in 1967 for a Mets team that had never won more than 66 games in its history. In 1969, Seaver not only led the Miracle Mets to their first winning season, but their first World Championship.
Seaver’s importance to Mets history cannot be overstated. Before Seaver arrived in ‘67, the Mets were quite literally hopeless. In the words of Mets broadcaster Howie Rose quoted in Seaver’s SABR bio,
There was this inescapable culture of losing, and at least among their fans, a growing sense of losing was going to be something permanent. People who watched [Seaver] as a rookie got the sense that they had finally developed a player who was capable of doing special things, and therefore capable of helping the Mets achieve some pretty good thing of their own along the way.
Tom Terrific went on to become the second player to ever win three Cy Young awards. Seaver made 12 All-Star games and won three ERA titles. His induction to the Hall of Fame in 1992 was nearly unanimous. Seaver received 98.8 percent of the vote. Only Ken Griffey Jr. and Mariano Rivera have received greater percentages of the vote.
The loss of Seaver is immeasurable, not just for the Mets and their fans, but for all of baseball. There will never be another pitcher who means for a team what Seaver meant for the Mets.
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