Tom Seaver, who was known as “The Franchise” during his time pitching for the New York Mets, has died. He was 75 and passed away in his sleep from complications of dementia and Lyme disease, according to the Mets.
“We are heartbroken to share that our beloved husband and father has passed away,” wife Nancy Seaver and daughters Sarah and Anne told the Baseball Hall of Fame. “We send our love out to his fans, as we mourn his loss with you.”
Seaver won 311 games during his 20-year career, including five 20-win seasons, a track record which brought him to baseball’s Hall of Fame and acknowledgement as the greatest player in New York Mets history. His overall career record was 311-205 with 3640 strikeouts and an earned run average of 2.86
He retired in 1987, his resume listing the 1967 NL Rookie of the Year award, three Cy Young awards, and appearances as a 12-time All-Star.
A University of Southern California man, Seaver came to the Mets in a lottery drawing. Seaver had signed with the Atlanta Braves, but his contract was ruled illegal by former Commissioner William Eckert because USC had already started its season. Players in that era couldn’t be signed off a college campus once their teams had started their seasons.
The Mets, Cleveland Indians and Philadelphia Phillies all put in bids, but the Mets won the rights to sign Seaver.