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Remembering Tom Seaver, beloved baseball Hall of Famer

A three-time Cy Young Award winner, Tom Seaver is considered one of the best pitchers in the history of Major League Baseball. He led the transformation of the New York Mets from a band of lovable losers to world champions. The Hall of Fame athlete died Wednesday at age 75 from a combination of a devastating form of dementia and COVID-19. Stephanie Sy reports on his remarkable legacy.

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  • Judy Woodruff:

    Finally tonight, remembering Tom Seaver, the Hall of Fame player who was one of baseball's greatest power pitchers.

    Stephanie Sy has the appreciation.

  • Announcer:

    Two-strike count to Sanguillen. And Seaver sets up, now checks back over his shoulder. Here's the pitch, swing and a miss, struck him out, an ovation for Seaver.

    (CHEERING AND APPLAUSE)

  • Stephanie Sy:

    Ask any New York Mets fan, who was the greatest player in the team's history, the surefire answer is Tom Seaver.

    He holds the record in a bevy of Mets all-time pitching categories, including most wins, strikeouts and shutouts. A winner of three Cy Young Awards, he's considered one of the greatest pitchers in the history of the game. Period.

    Over the course of two decades, he won 311 games and was a 12-time All-Star and is still sixth on the list for most strikeouts of all time. Known as the Franchise, Seaver led the transformation of the Mets from a band of lovable losers to world champions.

    In 2011, he reflected on winning the 1969 World Series and what really drove him.

  • Tom Seaver:

    It isn't the celebration. It isn't the joy. It isn't the champagne. It isn't. It's what's on the field. That's where the art form is,

  • Stephanie Sy:

    Seaver debuted with the struggling Mets in 1967, and his impact was immediate. He won 16 games in his first season and was voted the National League rookie of the year.

    In 1969, Seaver racked up 25 wins, more than any Major League pitcher that season. That's when Tom Terrific won his first National League Cy Young Award.

    That year, the Mets defeated the heavily favored Baltimore Orioles to win their first ever World Series.

  • Tom Seaver:

    They thought they were going to run us right off the field. And we come to play.

  • Stephanie Sy:

    In 1977, Seaver was traded to the Cincinnati Reds, but he wasn't done making history. In 1978, he achieved what had until then eluded him, pitching a no-hitter.

  • Announcer:

    He bounces to first base. Driessen has it. He goes to the bag. And Seaver's got it!

    (CHEERING AND APPLAUSE)

  • Announcer:

    Tom Seaver has pitched his first Major League no-hitter!

  • Stephanie Sy:

    In 1985, Seaver notched another place in history, when he won his 300th career game.

  • Announcer:

    The ball game is over. Seaver has won 300.

  • Stephanie Sy:

    Seaver retired from baseball in 1986 at 41 years old. He pivoted to sportscasting, working alongside the legendary Vin Scully.

  • Vin Scully:

    Hi, everybody. I'm Vin Scully, along with Tom Seaver.

  • Stephanie Sy:

    In 1992, Seaver was elected to the National Baseball Hall of Fame by the highest vote percentage ever recorded at that time.

    Seaver's family announced that he would completely retire from public life, after being diagnosed with a devastating form of dementia. That, combined with a recent diagnosis of COVID, led to the baseball great's passing on Monday.

    George Thomas Seaver was 75 years old.

    For the "PBS NewsHour," I'm Stephanie Sy.

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