Tom Seaver: Sportsman of the Year 1969.
In his three years with the Mets, Seaver has won 59 games, but it must be remembered that in his first two seasons he played on teams that were a symphony of incompetence. He went to New York's spring training camp in St. Petersburg, Fla. in February of 1967 with only one year of professional work behind him. "I had no time limit set for making it to the major leagues," he says, "but I believed that eventually I would get there because I felt I was good enough. There were no self-declarations that if I did not make it in two or three years I would quit and try something else. None of that. At training camp I was ready to be sent back to the minors if the Mets felt I needed the extra work. I was perfectly willing to accept that, because I believed in the absolute integrity of major league baseball. To be honest about it, I had not been overly impressed by myself during my first year in pro ball at Jacksonville. A record which shows you win only as many games as you lose [12-12] is not one you can accept or be happy with."
- 12.22.69 - SI Vault
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