Tom Seaver comes to Buffalo for Triple A All-Star luncheon
Seaver, arguably the greatest New York Met of all-time, served as the keynote speaker for the All-Star Luncheon that took place at the Adams Mark Hotel on July 11.
Seaver pitched for 20 seasons, collecting 311 wins and 3,640 strikeouts during his career that also included stops with the Reds, White Sox and, ironically enough, with the Boston Red Sox in 1986-the year the Sox dropped the World Series to the Mets.
Reflecting on that series, Seaver talked about how people often asked him if he had mixed feelings about playing against his old team.
Seaver, ever the fiery competitor, had a blunt but honest answer.
"Hell no. I didn't have no mixed emotions," said Seaver, whose heart and soul was without question in the Sox camp.
Named to 11 all-star teams, Seaver won three Cy Young Awards and was elected to the Hall of Fame by the highest percentage (98.84) ever. Seaver was also key to the Amazin' Mets run to the 1969 World Championship. Seaver went 25-7 with a 2.21 ERA and won the series clinching Game Four.
Speaking with the media for about 25 minutes prior to the luncheon, Seaver spoke of some of the friendships he built up over his years in the game.
Talking about his first-ever all-star game, Seaver said he recalled walking into the stadium and the club house and security asking him for I.D.
Seaver told the media about how he walked into the National League club house and saw St.Louis Cardinal great, Lou Brock.
Brock, who must have thought Seaver was a club house kid, called out,"Hey kid, get me a coke!" Seaver said, as the media laughed. "I can't tell you what I told him," Seaver added with a grin.
Seaver said to this day, whenever he sees Lou, Brock quips,"Hey kid, get me a coke."
Seaver also recalled a game against San Francisco when he was facing the great Willie McCovey in a full count, with bases loaded situation and two outs.
Seaver, who was never really known for having a premiere change-up, caught McCovey off guard by throwing-you guessed it.
A change-up. McCovey bit and struck out.
McCovey said,"Why did you throw me a (beep beep) change-up? You don't have a change-up!"
"I do know, big boy."
Seaver said that has also become a running joke with he and McCovey have.
While Seaver would like to see the players of today remember to take time and enjoy living in the moment of the career. His greater wish is that players in today's era would all take the time to learn more about the history of the game.
Seaver, a true student of the game, spoke passionately about the respect he had for the greats that came before him. His idols like Christy Mathewson, Walter Johnson, Ty Cobb and Babe Ruth and others. Seaver thinks it's only proper for the players today, and tomorrow, to show that same respect for the history of this great game.
"You wonder if they really understand the history of the game," he said."To me, it's extremely important for them to understand the history. I'm not putting me out there. It's what about Christy Mathewson? Where is Walter Johnson?
What about (Ty) Cobb? What about the people that laid the foundation?"
Seaver and his wife Nancy now reside in Calistoga, CA where they founded the 3.5 acre Seaver Family Vineyards in 2002.