In 1967, New York Mets’ icon Tom Seaver began his journey on becoming “The Franchise,’’ when he was named the National League’s Rookie of the Year, an award he said he cherished more than his All-Star appearance that summer.
“This is a bigger thrill to me than being named to the All-Star team,’’ Seaver said at the time. “You only get one chance to be Rookie of the Year. If you’re good you can make the All-Star team several times in your career.’’
Seaver made it a dozen times.
In winning the award, Seaver became the first Met to win a postseason honor and the first ever player from a last-place team.
The Mets lost 101 games in 1967, but the addition of Seaver was the key move in the franchise becoming a winner.
That season, Seaver set franchise at the time with 16 wins, 18 complete games, 170 strikeouts and a 2.76 ERA.
In the All-Star Game that year, won 2-1 by the National League in 15 innings, Seaver retired Tony Conigliaro on a fly ball, walked Carl Yastrzemski, got Bill Freehan on a fly ball and struck out Ken Berry.
Seaver won three Cy Young Awards and finished second two other times in a career that featured winning 311 games with a 2.86 ERA and an incomprehensible 231 complete games and 61 shutouts. He was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1992 with a record 98.8 percent of the vote.