Coming off of back to back disappointing seasons and at the age of 39 Tom Seaver had to wonder if he’d get to 300 career wins. Then he landed on the Chicago White Sox.
When two teams battle down to the wire and end with the same record, all the emphasis is on the one-game playoff. Though, in hindsight weren’t the other 162 games just as important. The same can be said about Tom Seaver and his quest for 300 wins. Each victory was an equally important building block, though the wins he earned in his tenure with the Chicago White Sox may have put him over the top.
Tom Seaver was a World Series Champion, a frequent in All-Star games, a Cy Young caliber pitcher, with three to his credit already. Thrice in his career up to 1982, he had led the league in wins, and only once did he not have a double-digit winning season.
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After winning a combined fourteen games in ’82 and’83 with the Cincinnati Reds and a second stint with the New York Mets, Seaver sat at 273 lifetime wins. After suffering the first two losing seasons of his career and having his ERA rise, one would think the end of a brilliant career was on the horizon.
Up to that point, all his pitching had occurred in the National League, though Seaver experienced a boost to the numbers when he moved to the south side and changed leagues.
In ’84 Seaver posted the most wins he had gotten in five years and the following year, at the age of 40, he achieved his 300th win. His two years with the White Sox proved to just the lift he needed to hurdle the milestone. His combined 31 wins his first two years in Chicago were more than double his output in his two prior years.
He would pitch one more year in baseball, splitting time between the ChiSox and the Boston Red Sox, finishing his twenty-year career with 311 total wins.
Tom Terrific was a great pitcher who had his ascent to the storied 300 win club stifled for a bit. He recovered to finish off one of the most dominating pitching careers of all time.
Seaver had a lifetime 2.86 ERA with 231 complete games and more than 3500 strikeouts. Though it is hard to picture him in a Chicago White Sox uniform, his time there proved vital in his quest to 300 wins.