It was declared that any major league team that would match the Braves’ offer could do so, and any team who did would be part of a lottery for Seaver’s services. Three teams were interested, the Cleveland Indians, the Philadelphia Phillies and the Mets, and on April 2, 1966, baseball history was altered when the name “Mets” was pulled out of a hat.
Seaver pitched one season in the minor leagues in Jacksonville, Fla., before joining the Mets. That year he married McIntyre, whom he had met at Fresno City College. She survives him, along with daughters Sarah and Anne and four grandsons: Thomas, William, Henry and Tobin.
The late stages of Seaver’s career were not devoid of drama. After five and a half seasons in Cincinnati, the Mets brought him back in a trade, much to the delight of their fans, but after one reunion season, in January 1984, baseball held a free agent compensation draft, allowing teams that had lost players in free agency to select from a group of players that other teams had not shielded.
Believing that no other team would want an aging pitcher with a big salary, the Mets left Seaver unprotected and the White Sox chose him, leaving fans with a second onset of outrage at a Seaver departure.
Seaver had two productive seasons for Chicago, winning 31 games, including his 300th victory, but in 1986, at 41, he started poorly and was traded in June to Boston, where he finished his career going 5-7 for an American League pennant winner.
For his career he was 311-205 with an earned run average of 2.86.
After his retirement, Seaver worked as an announcer for both the Mets and the Yankees, and eventually moved back to California, where he and his wife established a winery in Calistoga, Seaver Vineyards.
The Mets retired Seaver’s number, 41, in 1988, and in 1992, his first year of eligibility, he was elected to the Hall of Fame with 425 out of 430 possible votes, a percentage of 98.84, which was the highest ever until Ken Griffey Jr. was elected in 2016 with 99.3 percent of the votes, and Mariano Rivera became the first unanimous first ballot selection in 2019.