Tom Seaver was, without question, the most influential New York Mets‘ player of all time. He was the idol of a generation of avid sports fans, a true warrior on the mound and a gentleman outside of the diamond. He passed away this week, at 75 due to a battle with dementia and COVID-19, but his legacy in American sports is intact.
Fellow athletes, teams, former teammates, fans, media members and the whole baseball industry in general have shared experiences with “Tom Terrific,” also known as “The Franchise” because of his importance to the New York Mets of the sixties and seventies.
MLB.com compiled quotes of some teams, players, executives and broadcasters, remembering the Mets’ legendary pitcher as a one of a kind individual.
Commissioner Rob Manfred:
“I am deeply saddened by the death of Tom Seaver, one of the greatest pitchers of all-time. Tom was a gentleman who represented the best of our National Pastime. He was synonymous with the New York Mets and their unforgettable 1969 season. After their improbable World Series Championship, Tom became a household name to baseball fans — a responsibility he carried out with distinction throughout his life.
MLB Players Association executive director Tony Clark:
“Tom Seaver will be remembered as a fierce and gifted competitor, a Hall of Fame pitcher whose passion never wavered on or off the field. He was a strong and steady voice on behalf of his fellow players as the Mets’ player representative in the early days of the Players Association. We send our sympathies to his family, friends and legion of fans.”
Mets’ owners Fred and Jeff Wilpon:
“We are devastated to learn of the passing of Mets Legend and Baseball Hall of Famer Tom Seaver. Tom was nicknamed ‘The Franchise’ and ‘Tom Terrific’ because of how valuable he truly was to our organization and our loyal fans, as his No. 41 was the first player number retired by the organization in 1988. He was simply the greatest Mets player of all-time and among the best to ever play the game.”
Bob Casteilini, Reds’ CEO:
“Tom Seaver was one of the best and most inspirational pitchers to play the game. We are grateful that Tom’s Hall of Fame career included time with the Reds. We are proud to count his name among the greats in the Reds Hall of Fame. He will be missed.”
Mets’ Hall of Famer Mike Piazza:
“Tom was always rooting for me to get into the Hall. Two of my fondest memories are walking out of Shea Stadium together after the last game and then when he threw the ceremonial first pitch to me at Citi Field the next year. He was one of a kind.”
Former pitcher Tom Glavine:
“So sad to hear of the passing of my friend Tom Seaver, great pitcher and great man. My prayers to his family.”
“Saddened to hear my friend, Tom Seaver, has passed away. My condolences to Nancy and the Seaver family. Baseball lost the best pitcher of my era.”
“He was a great leader of our team. When he wasn’t pitching, he was always there to help the other guys on the staff. He was a true professional.”
“I am deeply saddened of the passing of Tom Seaver. I had the honor of unsuccessfully hitting against him and having as a teammate. He is the greatest Met of all time. No one will ever surpass him that wears the orange and blue. My condolences to Nancy and his family. Tears.”
“Every time you walk through the door there, it’s like, Tom Seaver Hall, with different pictures. I noticed the other day, the look and the youth. How young he looked.”
“I remember meeting Tom Seaver at his first All-Star Game, and I knew he was a special person. He was a terrific pitcher and a wonderful friend. I was lucky to have dinner in his home in New York and in California which I remember fondly. My thoughts and prayers are with his family.”
Adam Sandler, actor:
“Tom Seaver. My dad loved him. My brother loved him. I loved him. A hero to so many. Thoughts to his entire family.”
Former Mets pitcher Al Leiter:
“Sad news for sure. My idol growing up was Tom Seaver. I am forever grateful and blessed to have been able to befriend this great man. Tom Terrific was a classy gentleman and the greatest Met. May he Rest In peace.”