March 8 (UPI) — Hall of Fame pitcher Tom Seaver has been diagnosed with dementia and will retire from public life.
Seaver’s family announced the diagnosis Thursday in a statement from the Baseball Hall of Fame.
“The Seaver family announced today that Hall of Fame pitcher Tom Seaver has recently been diagnosed with dementia,” the statement said. “Tom will continue to work in his beloved vineyard at his California home, but has chosen to completely retire from public life.”
“The family is deeply appreciative of those who have supported Tom throughout his career, on and off the field, and who do so now by honoring his request for privacy. We join Tom in sending warmest regards to everyone.”
Seaver, 74, was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1992. The three-time Cy Young Award winner owned a 2.86 ERA and a 311-205 record during his 20-year career. Seaver played for the New York Mets, Cincinnati Reds, Chicago White Sox and Boston Red Sox. The 12-time All-Star and three-time ERA title winner led baseball with 25 wins in 1969. He led the league in ERA in two seasons. Seaver retired after the 1986 season with 3,640 career strikeouts.
He was a World Series champion in 1969. Seaver was diagnosed with Lyme disease in 1991, leading to Bell’s Palsy and memory loss.
“We’ve been in contact with the Seaver family and are aware of his health situation,” Mets COO Jeff Wilpon said in a statement. “Although he’s unable to attend the ’69 Anniversary, we are planning to honor him in special ways and have included his family in our plans. Our thoughts are with Tom, Nancy and the entire Seaver Family.”
Several baseball stars paid homage to Seaver, including Mets icon Mike Piazza.
“So sad to hear Tom Seaver has dementia,” Piazza tweeted. “He will always be the heart and soul of the Mets, the standard which all Mets aspire to. This breaks my heart. Do not feel worthy to be mentioned in the same breath, yet honored to be with him in the Baseball Hall of Fame.”
The Mets retired Seaver’s No. 41 in 1988.