The New York Mets Encyclopedia|
by Peter C. Bjarkman
Sports Publishing, Inc., 2001 | Buy the book
It is difficult to say which was the best individual season of Tom Seaver's
brilliant career. Tom Terrific won three Cy Young honors and led two
successful pennant drives in a brief six-year span. For a record nine straight
seasons, he struck out more than 200 batters. Twice with the Mets he was the
league's top winner, three times the ERA leader, and five times the National
League strikeout king. His 1.76 ERA of 1970 was one of the stingiest in modern
baseball history. And his first Cy Young trophy was the first ever awarded to
a pitcher toiling for a miserable last-place ball club.
But his final Cy Young season may well have been Tom Seaver's best outing
ever. This seems especially the case when one considers the team around him
that season, a third-place also-ran club that barely played at a .500 pace
from wire to wire. Without Seaver in the rotation that summer, the Mets were
assuredly destined to be a last-place ball club. The big right-hander's
accomplishments were, in fact, about all the Mets faithful of 1975 had to
boast about. His 22-9 record represented the most wins in the senior circuit.
His 243 strikeouts were also tops, and his 2.38 ERA trailed only San Diego's
Randy Jones and LA's Andy Messersmith. Stretching his string of 200-strikeout
years to eight that summer he overtook the longstanding major league record.
He also led the New York staff in starts (36), complete games (15), shutouts,
and innings pitched. And for toppers, he reached another personal milestone
when he passed 2,000 career strikeouts.
The only personal failure for Seaver
seemed to come in the All-Star Game in Milwaukee's County Stadium, where he
surrendered a three-run homer to Carl Yastrzemski and, in the process, became
the first Mets pitcher to allow an earned run in the traditional Midsummer
Classic. And all this came on top of the fact that Tom Terrific had
experienced a dreadful slide to 11-11 only one season earlier. It was one of
the best comebacks ever, and also one of the best end-to-end pitching
performances ever witnessed from a mound ace wearing a New York Mets uniform.
From The New York Mets Encyclopedia by Peter C. Bjarkman.
Copyright © by Peter C. Bjarkman. Excerpted with permission.