Tom Seaver - Hall of Fame

Hall of Fame

Tom Seaver's number 41 was retired by the New York Mets in 1988.

Seaver was elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame on January 7, 1992. He received the highest-ever percentage of votes with 98.84% (on 425 of 430 ballots), higher than Nolan Ryan's 98.79% (491 of 497), and Ty Cobb's 98.23% (222 of 226). Three of the five ballots that had omitted Seaver were blank, cast by writers protesting the Hall's decision to make Pete Rose ineligible for consideration. One ballot was sent by a writer who was recovering from open-heart surgery and failed to notice Seaver's name. The fifth "no" vote was cast by a writer who said he never voted for any player in their first year of eligibility. Seaver is the only player enshrined in the Hall of Fame with a Mets cap on his plaque. He was also inducted into the New York Mets Hall of Fame in 1988, the Marine Corps Sports Hall of Fame in 2003 and the Cincinnati Reds Hall of Fame in 2006.

In 1999, Seaver ranked 32nd on The Sporting News' list of the 100 Greatest Baseball Players, the only player to have spent a majority of his career with the Mets to make the list. That year, he was also a nominee for the Major League Baseball All-Century Team. Baseball purists often compare him to Christy Mathewson for his combination of raw power, pinpoint control, intelligence, and intense scrutiny of his performance. Seaver was the foremost latter-day exponent of "drop and drive" overhand delivery that utilitized his powerful legs, took strain off of his arm, and helped ensure his longevity. He always credited the training he received in the Mets organization, citing the long careers of teammates Jerry Koosman, Nolan Ryan and Tug McGraw as further proof. Seaver could also help himself at the plate. A good-hitting pitcher and proficient bunter, Seaver hit 12 home runs during his career, along with a relatively solid lifetime average for a pitcher of .154.

Hank Aaron stated that Seaver was the toughest pitcher he ever faced. Seaver approached Aaron before his first All-Star Game in 1967 and asked Aaron for his autograph. Seaver felt the need to introduce himself to Aaron, as he was certain "Hammerin' Hank" would not know who he was. Aaron replied to Seaver, "Kid, I know who you are, and before your career is over, I guarantee you everyone in this stadium will, too." In an ESPN poll among his peers, Bob Gibson, Juan Marichal, Jim Palmer, Nolan Ryan, Steve Carlton, Bert Blyleven, and Don Sutton all agreed Seaver was "the best" of their generation of pitchers.

On September 28, 2006, Seaver was chosen as the "Hometown Hero" for the Mets franchise by ESPN. Seaver made a return to Shea Stadium during the "Shea Goodbye" closing ceremony on September 28, 2008, where he threw out the final pitch in the history of the stadium to Mike Piazza. He and Piazza then opened the Mets' new home, Citi Field with the ceremonial first pitch on April 13, 2009.

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A hall of fame, wall of fame, walk of fame, walk of stars or avenue of stars is a type of attraction established for any field of endeavor to honor individuals of noteworthy achievement in that field. The meaning of "Fame" has changed over the years, originally meaning "renown" as opposed to today's more common meaning of "celebrity".

In some cases, these halls of fame consist of actual halls or museums which enshrine the honorees with sculptures, plaques, and displays of memorabilia. Sometimes, the honorees' plaques may instead be posted on a wall (a '"wall of fame") or inscribed on a sidewalk (a "walk of fame" or an "avenue of fame"). In others, the hall of fame is more figurative, and just simply consists of a list of names of noteworthy individuals maintained by an organization or community.

The English-language term was popularised in the United States by the Hall of Fame for Great Americans at Bronx Community College, in New York City, completed in 1900. Its inspiration, the Ruhmeshalle in Munich, Germany, also means "Hall of Fame". The Walhalla Temple in Bavaria, Germany, is an even earlier hall of fame, conceived in 1807 and built between 1830 and 1842.

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