Sunday, September 1, 2013

Seaver Sets A New Strikeout Record

On September 1, 1975, Hall of Famer and New York Mets great Tom Seaver becomes the first pitcher to strike out 200 in eight consecutive seasons.

Seaver would finish his career with 3,640 strikeouts, which at the time was good enough for third all-time being behind only Nolan Ryan and Steve Carlton at the time of his retirement.

The list of current 3000 strikeout pitchers includes in this order from most to least, Nolan Ryan, 5,714, Randy Johnson, 4,875, Roger Clemens, 4,672, Steve Carlton, 4,136, Bert Blyleven, 3,701, Tom Seaver, 3,640, Don Sutton, 3,574, Gaylord Perry, 3,534, Walter Johnson, 3,509, Greg Maddux, 3,371, Phil Niekro, 3,342, Ferguson Jenkins, 3,192, Pedro Martinez, 3,154, Bob Gibson, 3,117, Curt Schilling, 3,116 and John Smoltz, 3,084.

The 3,000-strikeout club might become more elusive as the closest pitcher to the feat is 48-year-old Jamie Moyer. Moyer is the active leader in strikeouts with 2,405 but is currently a free agent after being released by the Toronto Blue Jays AAA affiliate. Because of this Moyer will most likely not reach 3,000, and with the way the game has changed in recent years, one wonders if we will ever see another pitcher join the elusive 3,000 strikeout club.

Seaver had an excellent career that spanned 20-seasons with the New York Mets, Cincinnati Reds, Chicago White Sox and Boston Red Sox, though he primarily known for his time with the Mets.

Seaver’s career numbers include 656 games pitched with 647 starts for a total of 4,783 innings pitched. He put up 311 wins, 205 losses and one save, with 231 complete games and 61 shutouts. He had a 2.86 ERA with 3,640 strikeouts, to just 1,390 walks, allowing just 380 home runs over his career.

Five times Seaver led the league in strikeouts with his highest single season total coming in 1971 with 289. He led the league in ERA three times with his lowest single season ERA coming in 1971 with a 1.76 mark. Seaver also led the league in wins twice with his highest single season total coming in 1969 when he recorded 25 wins.

Seaver, a 12-time All-Star made seven consecutive appearances in the Mid Summer Classic from 1967-1973. He won three Cy Young Awards over his career in 1969, 1973 and 1975. He was a five-time National League Strikeout Champion, including back-to-back awards in 1970-1971, and 1975-1976. Seaver was a three time NL ERA Champion in 1970, 1971 and 1973. He was also a three time NL Wins Champion in 1969, 1975 and 1981. Seaver was also the 1967 Rookie of the Year.

Although he never won an MVP award Seaver was in the conversation 10 times over the course of his career and was on the top 10 in voting five times.

Seaver won the World Series in 1969 with the “Miracle Mets” and pitched a no-hitter on June 16, 1978 against the St. Louis Cardinals.

The Mets retired Seaver’s number 41 jersey in July of 1988.

Seaver was inducted into the Cooperstown Baseball Hall of Fame in 1992 with 98.84 percent of votes, making him the highest vote getter percentage wise ever in baseball history. He is also the only player to wear a New York Mets hat on his plaque in Cooperstown.