Tom Seaver Struck Me Out

Happy Father’s Day.  Hopefully I am on an undelayed plane on my way home so I will leave you with this true story.

Last year I got to meet Tom Seaver.  I hate being “that guy” so I’m not going to walk up to him and say “I really liked you on the Mets” which I’m sure he has heard before.

I ask Tom, “Crazy question.  I remember that when I was like 4 you gave me a ’46 Cardinals baseball out of your locker st Shea.  Does that make any sense?  A groundskeeper named Richie hooked it up…”

That last part genuinely perked Tom’s ears.   Cool, Tom Seaver was actually interested in my story!

Tom asked me to back up and tell him it again.

“Oh, Richie, sure!”   He remembered Richie, my father’s cousin.

So here’s the story as 4 or 5 year old me remembers it.

We head out to Shea Stadium in the afternoon.   I’m young enough to think it’s cool but not old enough to totally appreciate the awesomeness that is about to unfold.

We meet  Tom Seaver on the field.   Someone grabs a wiffle bat and some sort of ball and suddenly Tom Seaver is “pitching” to me and – no kidding, why would I make this up – Jerry Grote is catching.

So so awesome.

My young brain can’t remember much about the day and of course NOBODY TOOK ANY PICTURES but I always have had this autographed ’46 Cardinals baseball.

So I ask Tom, who believes the pitching happened, why the heck he would have a ’46 Cardinals ball in his locker to give to me.

(More mysteries for my late father – how about you know a Tom Seaver ball?  or a PICTURE?)

Tom told me it was entirely possible because when he started out he would collect autographs from his heroes and how he was always in awe to be on the field with those guys.

The Franchise starts telling me about the first time he went to “Sandy’s house” (I didn’t ask Sandy’s last name but I’ll take one guess) and how amazing it was to him.

And right there I realize that Tom is relating my story to being in the presence of greatness with his own story of being in the presence of greatness.

For three minutes Tom and I connected.  Very very cool.

I guess it’s stuff like this that explains why I write about the Mets five times a day.

Dad and Richie are long gone…thanks for hooking this one up fellas…and I’m glad I got to tell Tom about it.

Happy Father’s Day folks.

4 Replies to “Tom Seaver Struck Me Out”

  1. That’s awesome! I’ve had cool interactions with Al Leiter, Tug McGraw and Nolan Ryan (I wore a Ryan Rangers jersey to Yankee Stadium in ’91 or ’92, when I was in high school, and he came straight to me to sign), but nothing like that.

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