Tom’s Terrific-ness Spanned Many Childhoods
by Alex Garrett
As I heard reaction last night to the passing of Tom Seaver from veteran Met announcers Howie Rose and Gary Cohen , I realized that Mr. Seaver , 75, supplied memories for many childhoods on and off the field!
While Howie and Gary got to watch their idol will the Mets to World Series in 1969 at a young age , children of the 80s and 90s heard Tom’s winning mentality through his analysis on broadcasts with the Yankees and then the Mets.
The first thing I did after learning of his passing was pull up audio of his voice . Let me tell you, hearing the HOF’er’s voice sent me back to being 8 years old listening to him call a Mets game with Gary Thorne!
Personally, Tom Seaver influenced my life! In the broadcast booth, Gary Thorne invited my dad and I into the broadcast booth. In the top of the 9th of a random Met game at Shea, I sat next to Hall of Famer Tom Seaver while Gary Thorne held me on his lap.
There was another connection I had realized last year at the ‘69 Mets celebration. Throwing out the first pitch at Shea in 2006 was a thrill! It took me until 2019 to realize the magnitude of that Shea Stadium mound, as that’s the same mound Tom Seaver pitched the Mets into a World Series Championship and rocked New York City!
Off the field and outside the broadcast booth, Tom Seaver also made time to be with community. For multiple years, he attended the Celebrity Sports Night Gala at my alma Mater, the Henry Viscardi School. HVS is a place where kids with physical disabilities can get a great education from Pre-K-12 and adults with disabilities could be given the tools to work! Not only did I get to meet Mr. Seaver , I donned his #41 at about 12 yrs old in a sketch with Seaver’s teammates Buddy Harrelson and Ed Charles! We all had fun playing the role of Vikings , I guess making us the Vikings of Queens!
So yes, Tom Seaver did SPAN 60s childhoods, 70s, 80s and 90s childhoods and it was special to see up close and on the TV!
For Tom Seaver, a man that won 311 games, a man that was bigger than life for New York City , to give back to that very community proved he in his heart and spirit was the hometown boy from Fresno!