NEW YORK -- For a decade in a Mets uniform and in his subsequent seasons, Tom Seaver provided countless big league memories. He will forever be known as one of the greatest to ever play the game in a Mets uniform. From 1967 to 1986 Tom Terrific pitched for four
NEW YORK -- For a decade in a Mets uniform and in his subsequent seasons, Tom Seaver provided countless big league memories. He will forever be known as one of the greatest to ever play the game in a Mets uniform. From 1967 to 1986 Tom Terrific pitched for four teams including the Mets, Reds, White Sox and Red Sox, and ultimately he became the first player to be portrayed in a Mets hat on a Hall of Fame plaque.
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Let's check out 10 moments from Tom Terrific that made him so special:
1. Near perfection
On July 9, 1969, Tom Terrific threw eight perfect innings against the Cubs, but with one out in the ninth, Chicago's Jimmy Qualls singled into left-center to break up Seaver's perfect game bid. Following the ace's one-hitter, the Mets went on to win their first World Series championship that fall. Seaver eventually would pitch a no-hitter, but never with the Mets. His no-no came nearly a decade later (see below).
2. 19 K's
Seaver had another complete game on April 22, 1970, but this time he tossed a 19-strikeout gem to tie the Major League record (since surpassed by Roger Clemens, Kerry Wood and Max Scherzer) and set a Major League record by fanning the last 10 batters consecutively to end the game. Seaver still holds the mark for consecutive strikeouts in a game.
3. 1969 World Series Game 4
Seaver threw 18 complete games in 1969, which is why a complete game in Game 4 of the World Series was not completely out of the ordinary. What was most impressive was that he went the distance and then some, pitching 10 innings. Seaver gave up six hits, one earned run and struck out six in the Mets 2-1 walk-off win over the Orioles at Shea Stadium on Oct. 15, 1969.
4. Return to Flushing
Known as "The Midnight Massacre" to most Mets fans, June 15, 1977, is the dreadful night that the Mets traded Tom Seaver to Cincinnati for Pat Zachry, Doug Flynn, Steve Henderson and Dan Norman. Less than six years later, on April 5, 1983, Seaver walked to the mound on Opening Day, making his return to New York in the Mets uniform. In true Tom Terrific fashion, he pitched six strong innings in a 2-0 win over the Phillies.
5. Tom finds missing gem
Seaver had racked up five strikeout titles, three Cy Young Awards and a World Series title, but the no-hitter was one achievement that continued to elude him by 1978. But a series of near-misses -- including a perfect game attempt through 25 outs in '69 -- became a distant memory on June 16, 1978, when Seaver held the Cardinals hitless in a 4-0 victory for the Reds. Seaver recorded just three strikeouts but carved up the St. Louis lineup regardless, recording 1-2-3 innings in seven of his nine frames on the mound. Only four Redbirds reached base at all; three via walk and one on a throwing error by catcher Don Werner.
6. No. 300
It was only fitting that Seaver recorded his milestone 300th victory in the familiar confines of New York on Aug. 5, 1985, when the veteran helped the White Sox beat the Yankees, 4-1, in a Sunday matinee in the Bronx. Seaver had picked up his first career victory more than 18 years prior in New York while wearing Mets colors. The Yankee Stadium crowd was chanting Seaver's name by the eighth inning as the 40-year-old pitcher was about to seal the deal, and Seaver jumped into catcher Carlton Fisk's arms when the final out was recorded. The Yankees then sent Phil Niekro onto the field to present Seaver a silver bowl in celebration.
7. Top rook
The Mets were still mired in last place in 1967, but it was abundantly clear they had a special pitcher on their hands. All Seaver did as a 22-year-old rookie was win 16 games, twirl 18 complete games and compile a 2.76 ERA for a club that won just 61 games on the season. He was justly rewarded with the National League's Rookie of the Year Award after garnering 11 of the 20 first-place votes at the close of the campaign.
8. 1973 NLCS Game 5: Mets to the World Series
In Game 5 of the NLCS on Oct. 10, 1973, Seaver threw yet another gem for the Mets, getting through 8 1/3 innings and giving up only two runs, one earned, and striking out four. The Mets went on the beat the Reds, 7-2, making it to their second World Series in four years.
9. Hall of Famer
On Jan. 7, 1992, his first year on the ballot, Seaver was elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame. Seaver's 98.8 percent vote total -- he was left off only five ballots -- was the record total until Ken Griffey Jr. received 99.32 percent of votes in 2016.
10. No. 41
On July 24, 1988, Seaver became the first Mets player to have his number retired by the club in a pregame ceremony on "Tom Seaver Day," and the pitcher came out to Shea Stadium and thanked the fans for his time with the organization. He and Mike Piazza are the only Mets players to have their numbers retired by the franchise.
Erin Fish is a reporter for MLB.com based in New York.