The Vault

May 24, 2009

EXCERPT | August12, 1985

A Pitcher'sGrail

Tom Seaver gotwhat Randy Johnson wants: 300

His greatest dayswere with the Mets, but Tom Seaver was pitching for the White Sox when hebecame the 17th big leaguer to win 300 games. He would win 11 more beforeretiring in 1986 and would make the Hall of Fame with 98.8% of the vote, thehighest percentage ever. Craig Neff was at Yankee Stadium the day Seaver gothis milestone victory.

When the ballplopped into the glove of leftfielder Reid Nichols, Tom Seaver doubled over inrelief. Then he did a little jump for joy. Teammates were surging forward, and54,032 people were cheering, but for a moment he was alone, not knowing quitewhat to do. He was back in New York, where it all started, but the scene was abit strange—his uniform said sox across the chest. Seaver had just beaten theYankees 4--1 to win his 300th major league game. It was another masterpiece ina gallery 19 years in the making, and the artist had only that brief instant tosavor his work before the patrons arrived.

His catcher,Carlton Fisk, lifted him off the ground, and the celebration began. Fans beganchanting "Sea-ver, Sea-ver" as he was mobbed by his teammates. Fiskeven gave him a fleeting kiss on the cheek before Seaver broke away and went tohis wife, Nancy, and his daughters, Sarah and Anne, in their field-level box."Piece of cake," he told them.

Actually, it was adeftly shaded work of art that might have been entitled, Sunday in the Parkwith George Thomas Seaver. He scattered six hits, walked one, struck out sevenand got out of jams by mixing speeds and using guile. At 40, Seaver remainsbaby-faced, but he is the artist as an older man.

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PHOTOPhotograph by RONALD C. MODRASTILL TERRIFIC Left unprotected by the Mets in a free-agent compensation draft before the 1984 season, Seaver was plucked by the White Sox and went 31--22 over the next two years. PHOTOMARVIN NEWMAN (SPAHN) PHOTOJOHN IACONO (PERRY) PHOTOMANNY MILLAN (CARLTON) PHOTOJOHN W. MCDONOUGH (BRYANT) PHOTODAVID BERGMAN (BRADY) PHOTOCHUCK SOLOMON (LEE) PHOTOJOHN BIEVER (GARCIA) PHOTOERICK W. RASCO (BLACKBERRY) PHOTOGREG NELSON (HOWARD) PHOTODAVID E. KLUTHO (CLEARY) PHOTOJEFF KAVANAUGH (HORSE)

HOLE YARDS PAR R1 R2 R3 R4
OUT
HOLE YARDS PAR R1 R2 R3 R4
IN
Eagle (-2)
Birdie (-1)
Bogey (+1)
Double Bogey (+2)