I lost a HERO of mine yesterday, a person who grew up with me and LLoyd during our early years together. It may be unusual to consider someone your own age and who you don’t even know personally as one of your life’s mentors – but that’s what Tom “Terrific” Seaver was for me.
It started when I attended the METS first ever baseball game played in 1962 at the Polo Grounds in the Bronx. I remember how much I lived and died with each game they played and mostly lost! For years I was ranked on by those always-winning Yankee fans. At that time, the Mets would lose 100 and more games a season.
Then, in 1967 it all started to change, because a young leader joined the team with the name TOM SEAVER. You could tell what a winner he was – in his first year during an interview with a sportswriter late in a season, he responded with, “I don’t want us to be a 500 team; our goal is to win every game.” And, in 1969 only two years after becoming a MET (the worst team in baseball at that time) he demonstrated outstanding leadership as a player, team member and person – they went on to win the World Series!
Having Tom Seaver as my hero and mentor during my early years when I was opening and starting up LLoyd (1971) and holding him up as a role model was truly a blessing. We were a METS family. My oldest son Keith and I got to bond and share many Tom Seaver-pitched ballgames in his early years and later, my second son, Jason, joined our Seaver/METS fan club. Enjoying the sport, the team and a shared hero made it all that much better.
Rest In Peace my friend and mentor and thank you for being a part of the Banks’ family lifetime memories.
Years later at a book signing in Huntington, New York, I was proud to introduce Tom and his wife Nancy to Kyle Seaver Banks – my first grandson.
It’s a moment I will never forget.