NEW YORK (CBSNewYork/AP) — Legendary Mets pitcher Tom Seaver has been diagnosed with dementia and has retired from public life.
The family of the 74-year-old three-time Cy Young Award winner made the announcement Thursday through the Hall. They say Seaver will continue to work in the vineyard at his home in California.
“We’ve been in contact with the Seaver family and are aware of his health situation,” Mets owner Jeff Wilpon said in a statement posted to the team’s Twitter account. “Although he’s unable to attend the ’69 anniversary, we are planning to honor him in special ways and have included his family in our plans.”
Seaver, a 12-time All-Star, has limited his public appearances in recent years. He didn’t attend the Baseball Writers’ Association of America dinner in January when members of the New York Mets’ 1969 World Series championship team were honored.
Art Shamsky and three other former teammates met Seaver about a year and a half ago to work on the soon-to-be released book After the Miracle. Shamsky says he knew something was wrong then.
“When I heard it today, it was a little bit of a shock but I also understood it was a process that was happening,” Shamsky said. “I hate to use the term ‘was,’ because I feel like it still ‘is,’ but Tom was a very special person.”
In an illustrious 19-year career with the Mets, Reds, White Sox, and Red Sox, Seaver tallied 311 wins and 3,640 strikeouts to go along with a sparkling 2.86 earned run average. Until 2016, he held the highest vote percentage for Hall of Fame induction with 98.84 percent.
An integral part of the 1969 championship team, New York traded the ace at the height of his prime in the middle of the 1977 season to Cincinnati in what was later dubbed the “Midnight Massacre.” Seaver would go on to win 14 games for the Reds, including a victory over the Mets in return to Shea Stadium.
Seaver was traded back to the Mets before the 1983 season, in which he finished with a 9-14 record.
(© Copyright 2019 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)