The Real Tom Terrific Ascends to MLB's Great Cornfield in the Sky
It's the lasting line in Field of Dreams ...
If you build it, they will come.
The National League built the New York Metropolitan Baseball Club for a number of reasons, none of which were as idealistic as Kevin Costner's backyard ballfield in Iowa:
- A proposed third major league wanted to put its cornerstone franchise in New York, so
- The National League, who lost the city when the Dodgers and Giants moved to California, quickly decided to expand, and
- Proved their intent to stay this time by giving the new team Dodger blue and Giant orange colors, which also happen to be New York City's official colors.
The club immediately became a legend in its own sorta way:
It's with this backdrop that a homegrown hurler became the franchise savior.
And justifiably so:
This is why even the trademark court declared there's only one Tom Terrific, and in his prime, he played for the Mets.
The term superstar has been so watered down anymore that it's virtually lost its meaning. Back when it first originated, it referred to those who transcended their field of expertise to the point that everybody recognized their name.
Tom Seaver was a bonafide superstar.
Dude did amazing things for the Amazins', not the least of whic were:
- Being is one of 10 pitchers with 300 wins and 3,000 strikeouts;
- Racking up an MLB-record nine straight 200-strikeout seasons, and his 3,640 strikeouts rank sixth all-time;
- Through his first nine years, Seaver won three Cy Young Awards and made eight All-Star appearances, becoming the only pitcher to accomplish all that by the time he turned 30.
Bill James, godfather of the seamhead stat industry, is by definition the antithesis of hyperbole.
Thus, his assessment of Seaver's career in 2001's Historical Baseball Abstract is even more impressive in that his plaudits for the Mets legend were framed in the harsh light of cold reality:
There is actually a good argument that Tom Seaver should be regarded as the greatest pitcher of all time ...
Seaver pitched for eight losing teams, several of them really terrible, and four other teams [that] had losing records except when Seaver was on the mound.
Now that MLB's planning on scheduling a game a year in Iowa at the Field of Dreams, who knows?
Maybe some magic will happen and the likes of Seaver will emerge from the corn stalks, too ...
One can only hope.