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Remembering The Great Tom Seaver

September 4, 2020

Amazing, perhaps pun intended, things and memories flood my mind, in recalling one of baseball’s greatest pitchers, Tom Seaver, who died this week at age 75.

There were the near no hitters, as I recall two on radio and the near perfect game, broken up by Jimmy Qualls, watching with my dad on television.

He won game 4 of the ’69 World Series on “Moratorium Day,” and though not shown in a recent telecast on SNY, I could swear, Tom talked of the U.S. getting out of Viet Nam.

The Mets won the World Series the next day behind Jerry Koosman and that was the peak, even one as great as Seaver, could get no higher.

There was nary another title or even a World Series win, despite Tony Kubek’s optimism toward the latter, in the post game 4 interview.

However, though often not quite able to get to the “finish line,” in the biggest of games, Tom Seaver was along with Bob Gibson, second or third only to Sandy Koufax, among pitchers in my time.

In short, Seaver with phenomenal statistics and pitching know how, was a true great.

Recall among much, the 300th win called by the great Lindsey Nelson on another great, Phil Rizzuto’s day. I raced home from school in April 1970 and saw “Sea,” who did R.C. Cola commercials, strikeout Al Ferrara, who earlier had homered, for his 19th strikeout, tying Steve Carlton, (Carlton did so in a (4-3) loss to two Ron Swoboda homers, vs the Mets the season before), in a (2-1) win.

So many memories, including how cool he and his beautiful wife Nancy, who was with him to the end, as he battled dementia, looked and apparently were together.

It did not manifest for me and I was not “into” a picture with Seaver, on my birthday, 2 months and change, before the real fall.

Yet I cherish his time, his pitching, what he meant and yes the glory of, as Tom said and I loved, referencing the ’69 Mets “just a bunch of young kids who loved to play this game,” baseball–of course, since nearly ruined by wild cards and such—

Go now and feel as you did when Cleon grabbed future Mets’ title manager, Dave Johnson’s long drive and “taste the wine.”

Far or maybe on nights such as July 9, 1969 vs Qualls and the eventually overtaken, first place Chicago Cubs, not so far from perfect, you Tom Seaver were something else!

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