Rating the Greatest Baseball Players of All Time

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Saturday, February 15, 2003
 
Number 33:
Tom Seaver



Few players can be said to have turned around a franchise. That is the legacy of Tom Seaver and the New York Mets. The Mets were the lovable losers of the 1960s from their 1962 inception, but all that losing was fast becoming tedious. The Mets needed a hook to bring in the fans. Seaver came along in 1967 and immediately brought respectability to the franchise. Now, every fifth day the Mets were sending out a pitcher that gave them a chance to win, every time. He pitched extremely well in ‘67, and again in ‘68, as the Mets were still downtrodden, but now hopeful.



Then came 1969. It was a magic season in New York, and Tom Seaver was the holder of the magic. He won 25 of his 35 starts, and the Mets won the NL East, then the playoffs, and then beat the mighty Orioles in the World Series. It was amazing, truly. And Seaver was now as famous as any ballplayer. Then the Mets got all the way to Game 7 of the Series again in 1973, with another unlikely team. He continued that standard of excellence, in good years and bad, but his relationship with the Mets' owners soured, and he sought a trade. He went to the Reds in mid-season 1977, unfortunately as the Big Red Machine fell apart, although he made the playoffs with them again in 1979. He went back to the Mets for 1983, at age 38, then to the White Sox before finishing with a brief stint in Boston. But it is with those wonderful Mets teams that he made his mark, and there he will be remembered. He was a strikeout pitcher, with a terrific high fastball and excellent curve, helped by super control. His 3 Cy Youngs, and 10 top-ten finishes in the voting, attest to the regard he commanded.



Seaver earned 213.12 rating points.



Seaver's stats: 311-205 record, 2.86 ERA, 3640 K, 230 CG, 61 shutouts.