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Greg Prince and Jason Fry
Faith and Fear in Flushing made its debut on Feb. 16, 2005, the brainchild of two longtime friends and lifelong Met fans.

Greg Prince discovered the Mets when he was 6, during the magical summer of 1969. He is a Long Island-based writer, editor and communications consultant. Contact him here.

Jason Fry is a Brooklyn writer whose first memories include his mom leaping up and down cheering for Rusty Staub. Check out his other writing here.

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Still With Us

Tom Seaver is 75 years old today. We join the multitudes of baseball fans in wishing him a happy birthday and a happy day every day. We miss him. He’s still with us in the most elemental sense, yet we wish he could assert his presence like he did not so long ago.

A ceremonial first pitch.

An inning of erudition in the booth.

A lordly wave of acknowledgement to the sun-soaked masses while taking his shaded seat on stage at Cooperstown.

A story shared about what it was like on the mound; in the clubhouse; in the manager’s office; out to dinner after the crowd went home from Cooperstown.

A quote here or there disapproving of contemporary pitch-counting or talking up the current grape crop in a favored columnist’s copy.

All of this was Tom in the mid-November of his public life, before we realized his immortal’s emeritus phase, which we just assumed would go on and on, was about to go dark. Tom is still with us, but he used to be with us a whole lot more.

As gratifying as it was for 2019 to be graced by a golden-anniversary celebration of the 1969 Mets, you couldn’t in your heart swear it was wholly satisfying. That’s not the fault of those who joined us to celebrate. You loved hearing from Shamsky, from Swoboda, from Gaspar (every right fielder released a book this year) and from everybody else. It was a team effort, both capturing the championship and commemorating it anew. Still, you missed 41. You missed others, too. You wished everybody could have been both alive and well. You yearned for Tom most of all. You couldn’t help it. He’s Tom Seaver. Not was. Is.

He always will be. He always will be 41. Always the Opening Day starter. Always the man whose spot doesn’t get skipped because of rain. Always on call when others are taking an All-Star break. Always the one who expects to be on the mound in the eighth and ninth and the tenth if necessary. Always the one to keep himself in the game because he can handle the bat and run the bases. Always shaking his catcher’s hand for a job well done. Always atop the pitching totals in the Sunday paper. Always the one we look for this time of year, right around his birthday as it happens, to show up in the Cy Young point totals, first or darn close to it. Always a world champion among World Champions.

The greatest of pitchers. The greatest of Mets. Always. Still.

Happy 75th, 41. We are with you.

12 comments to Still With Us

  • Happy 75th Birthday Tom Terrific#

  • Inside Pitcher

    That was a beautiful and fitting tribute Greg – thank you.

  • Paul from Brooklyn

    He is Simply the Greatest! Class all the way. Ditto your comments Greg.
    Thank you for another great year with the world’s greatest team.See you on Seaver Way in a few months.

  • Joeybaguhdonuts

    Lordly. Yes, Greg, yes, that’s how it is. He must still because Seaver was the always when we were kids. The first game I ever attended was Fan Appreciation Day 1972 and Tom Seaver bested Steve Carlton, 2-1. Hooked for life.


    A beautiful article. The most upsetting thing to me in the most recent documentary “Seaver” is when Nancy said Tom told her, “I can’t be Tom Seaver anymore.” Tom will ALWAYS be Tom Seaver (or “Tom Terrific”) to us. We loved him then, we love him now, we will love him forever. I wish I could tell him this. Hopefully somewhere, deep down in his heart, he knows it.

  • Steve

    Other than his stint as an announcer, Seaver was always history for me, since I became a Met fan late in 85. To be honest, I’m sick of reading about 69 personally, but this was the first article that has ever made me truly regret not living through the era of Tom Terrific.

    • chuck

      Oh, Steve….

      “The last miracle I did was the 1969 Mets. Before that, I think you have to go back to the Red Sea.” – God

  • With my mom it was John Wayne.

    “Warren,”she once said when I was very young, “when John Wayne goes a piece of me is going to go with him.” In a matter of fact way I responded, “Yea mom, that’s gonna be a sad day.” And I did mean that too, I was a fan of the Duke, but not to the extent, not to the depth that she must have felt. Not nearly.

    I didn’t understand how someone she had only known from afar could bring forth that much emotion in her, that much devotion. How she could feel that she would miss this person so deeply, an actor whom she didn’t REALLY know, even before he was gone.

    But now I know because that’s the way I feel about Tom Seaver.

    Some people have a special type of integrity that can’t be described with words. Tom, throughout all his years in the spotlight, before and beyond, has been this type of person. Not only true to himself but true to the world around him. Not afraid to speak the truth. He wanted to be a winner but knew that the only way to truly be one was to take responsibility for being a loser when that was a required truth.

    Over the years I’ve learned a lot from the mightiest of Mets aces, things he never intended to teach me and things I never set out to learn.

    As a kid going to Shea, watching the Mets play, I wasn’t as big a fan as I am now. I took George Thomas Seaver for granted then.

    He was simply our best pitcher.

    But now, because of the way he has lived his life, the way he has consistently been the person he strives to be, I no longer do. I’ve learned that he is so much more than just a great Mets pitcher of the past, and when he goes a piece of me will go with him. A big piece.

  • Seth

    “We’re just a bunch of young kids who love to play this game!”

  • eric1973

    Speaking of maturity, could you ever imagine Tom Seaver running over and tearing off Cleon Jones’ shirt after a game winning homer?

    Those guys were real adults, compared to today’s children we now root for.

  • Kevin from Flushing

    Sad I never saw him pitch, grateful I have FAFIF to paint context about as well as Tom painted corners. Happy Birthday 41.