Hall of Famer Seaver to retire from public life

March 7th, 2019

Tom Seaver has been diagnosed with dementia and has chosen to retire from public life, according to a statement from the Hall of Fame pitcher's family on Thursday.

"The family is deeply appreciative of those who have supported Tom throughout his career, on and off the field, and who do so now by honoring his request for privacy," Seaver's family said in the statement. "We join Tom in sending warmest regards to everyone."

Seaver, 74, will continue to work in his vineyard at his home in California. But the a 12-time All-Star (nine with the Mets, three with the Reds) presumably will not make any further appearances at Hall of Fame or Mets events.

That includes the Mets' 50-year anniversary celebration of the 1969 Miracle Mets this year. The club is paying tribute to the World Series champion team at Citi Field from June 28-30, with many of the members of the team expected to attend. Seaver will not be there, Mets COO Jeff Wilpon confirmed in a statement Thursday, but the Mets will honor him in his absence.

"We've been in contact with the Seaver family and are aware of his health situation,” Wilpon said. “Although he's unable to attend the '69 Anniversary, we are planning to honor him in special ways and have included his family in our plans. Our thoughts are with Tom, Nancy and the entire Seaver Family."

One of the iconic pitchers in baseball history, Seaver is a member of both the 300-win club and the 3,000-strikeout club. He won 311 games in his career and struck out 3,640 batters, with a 2.86 lifetime ERA.

Seaver pitched 12 of his 20 seasons in New York, winning three National League Cy Young Awards and the NL Rookie of the Year Award in 1967. "The Franchise" led the Mets to their first two World Series appearances in 1969 and '73.

Seaver continued to star with the Reds after his trade to Cincinnati in 1977, helping to lead them to an NL West title in '79 and leading the league with 14 wins in '81. He also pitched for the White Sox -- earning his 300th win with Chicago -- and the Red Sox.

He was the first Met to be elected to the Hall of Fame, garnering a then-record 98.84 percent of the vote in 1992, breaking the mark Ty Cobb set in 1936 (98.23 percent). Seaver's record was surpassed by Ken Griffey Jr. in 2016 (99.32 percent).

“I got to know him extremely well," Reds broadcast legend Marty Brennaman said. "I think the first thing that jumps out at you is what a professional he was in every sense of the word."

After hearing the news Thursday, current Mets reached out with their support of Seaver.

"I just wish the best for them and he’s a part of the Mets family, always will be part of the Mets family," Brandon Nimmo said. "I know that he’ll be helped immensely and we’ll all be praying for him."