Sunday, August 21, 2005

August 21st, 1977

Tom Seaver Returns to Shea Stadium

Players returning to the site of their greatest success, especially players who have played no where else, are often interesting. I imagine most players would say they like to do well in front of their one-time hometown fans, but the circumstances surrounding departures are so varied that it is hard to draw one conclusion about returns. Tom Seaver, for one, had left his team on relatively acrimonious terms. Seaver's trade was seen, at least in part, as a response to his semi-public feud with Mets' owner M. Donald Grant.

On his return then, Seaver had an incentive to both remind Met fans of why they had loved him and show Grant just what he had given up. Seaver performed beautifully, pitching a complete game giving up just one run, as the Reds triumphed five to one. Seaver scattered six hits and two walks while striking out eleven. Furthermore, the usually light-hitting (career .154) Tom Terrific doubled and scored a pair of runs.

Players returning to face their old team don't always perform as brilliantly as Seaver, position players sometimes have no part in a game despite their performance. But I imagine when most dream of a return, they dream of performing like Seaver.

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