In what is a sad day for the New York Mets’ franchise, the greatest pitcher in team history is dealing with a debilitating mental illness. Tom Seaver, who was the Mets’ first Hall of Famer, has been diagnosed with dementia, MetsBlog.com reports. Seaver’s family revealed that information today and let the world know that Seaver will be retiring from public life immediately.
Seaver’s family addressed the situation by saying the following:
“Tom will continue to work in his beloved vineyard at his California home, but has chosen to completely retire from public life. The family is deeply appreciative of those who have supported Tom throughout his career, on and off the field, and who do so now by honoring his request for privacy. We join Tom in sending warmest regards to everyone.”
Mets’ COO Jeff Wilpon also released a statement on Seaver on the franchise’s behalf. Here is what he had to say:
“We’ve been in contact with the Seaver family and are aware of his health situation. 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. Our thoughts are with Tom, Nancy and the entire Seaver Family.”
As most Mets’ fans are well away, this year marks the 50th anniversary of the Miracle Mets, and the franchise is paying tribute to that team in late June. Seaver obviously will no longer be a part of that celebration, but this platform does give the Mets the perfect opportunity to pay tribute to one of the greatest players that has ever put on their uniform.
The Mets currently have named a VIP gate at Citi Field after Seaver and retired his number 41 in 1988, but they should do more than that. A statue of Seaver somewhere outside of the stadium would be a universally popular choice, while another good option would be doing something like naming the bullpen after Seaver.
As far as Seaver is concerned, this is a sad day for all Mets’ fans, but especially for Seaver and his family. Dementia is a nasty disease that will slowly wipe away Seaver’s memory, and that is a shame. All Mets’ fans should pray for Seaver and his family right now, and the Mets should also look to do some sort of charitable donation to help fund research to find a cure for dementia.