By Sharon Otter
Tom Seaver, who transformed the New York Mets from a laughingstock to a World Series champ in only two seasons, has passed away at 75.
Seaver had dropped out of public life in March last year after being diagnosed with dementia. He spent the remainder of his life at his home in California, reportedly dying peacefully in his sleep of complications of Lewy body dementia and COVID-19. The New York Daily News reported that Lyme disease also played a part in his death.
From the Hall of Fame:
“We are heartbroken to share that our beloved husband and father has passed away,” said his wife Nancy Seaver and daughters Sarah and Anne. “We send our love out to his fans, as we mourn his loss with you.”
Over the course of Mets history, Seaver stands as its first and greatest superstar. In 1967, he joined a Mets team that had averaged nearly 110 losses in its first five years of existence as an expansion team. Within three years, he was winning the Cy Young Award and leading the Miracle Mets to their first World Series championship.
Seaver remained the Mets’ ace for more than a decade. In that time, he racked up three Cy Young Awards, Rookie of the Year, 10 All-Star selections, three ERA titles and five strikeouts titles. He was eventually traded away to the Cincinnati Reds, where he remained an All-Star.
After a rough season with the Reds in 1982, Seaver returned to the Mets for a single season, then played out his career with the Chicago White Sox and Boston Red Sox. He retired in 1987 at the age of 42, with 311 wins and 3,640 strikeouts to his name, currently sixth all-time.
Seaver was a first-ballot selection for the Hall of Fame, and became the first player to have his number retired by the Mets.