Profiles in Dementia: George Thomas Seaver (1944 – 2020)

Baseball Hall of Famer George Thomas Seaver was born in California in 1944. Although in high school, Seaver was a lettered basketball player, the pictcher’s mound in baseball was where he found his athletic groove.

As his career expanded into Major League Baseball, Seaver became known for performing both well on the field – earning the nickname “Tom Terrific” during his 20-year professional baseball career – and off the field.

Seaver was recruited by the Los Angeles Dodgers in 1965, but when the young pitcher asked for an annual salary of $70,000, the Dodgers passed. In 1967, Seaver became a part of the baseball team he would become a powerhouse for – the New York Mets.

His baseball accolades would pile up during the 12 years that Tom Seaver played for the Mets, including National League Rookie of the Year, three Cy Young awards, and three ERA titles. His 20-year career included an impressive 311 wins and 3,640 strikeouts.

When Seaver retired from baseball in 1987, he moved to the broadcasting booth and served as a scout for various teams until he retired from baseball for good in 2005. In 2002, he and his wife, Nancy, whom Seaver married in 1966, began a vineyard on their 115-acre estate in California.

Tom Seaver’s problems with memory were first reported in 2013, but he was not diagnosed with Lewy Body dementia until 2019, when his family announced Seaver’s retirement from public life.

On September 2, 2020, Tom Seaver died from complications of COVID-19 and Lewy Body dementia. He is survived by his wife, Nancy, and two children.

 

3 thoughts on “Profiles in Dementia: George Thomas Seaver (1944 – 2020)

  1. My dad was diagnosed with dementia in 2015 but in retrospect I can remember personality changes several years before. My sister tried to keep him in his own home with home health aides but that became impossible so she moved him to an assisted living facility a year later as he had deteriorated and couldn’t keep an aide anymore. He passed away a year ago in mid-September, 2019. But we had said goodbye to the father we loved many years ago. I always hated the saying “gone to a better place” until Dad died. The confusion and anger of dementia was torture for him and a better place became anywhere but here. What a cruel disease!!

  2. What a great tribute. I was saddened to learn of Seaver’s death (as well as the death of another great player, Lou Brock). Although I’d never really followed MLB, I was very familiar with both Seaver and Brock, having grown up in a home full of baseball fanatics, and having played the APBA statistics game for years. Thanks so much for showcasing Seaver’s life and legend in your excellent blog!

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