Hall of Fame pitcher Tom Seaver diagnosed with dementia

Tom Seaver

Tom Seaver

The family announced Thursday that Seaver, 74, is suffering from dementia and has retired 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", the statement reads.

Art Shamsky and three other former teammates met Seaver about a year and a half ago to work on the soon-to-be released book After the Miracle.

Tom Seaver
Tom Seaver

Seaver was diagnosed with Lyme disease in 1991, and it reoccurred in 2012 and led to Bell's palsy and memory loss, the New York Daily News reported in 2013.

Seaver will continue to work in his vineyard at his California home.

Ron Swoboda, another member of that team, said, "Nobody competed like Tom Seaver".

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He has chosen to be removed completely from public life and obviously will not attend any of the events scheduled for the 50th anniversary of the 1969 Mets World Championship scheduled this year.

The Mets, who retired Seaver's No. 41 in 1988, are celebrating the 1969 team on June 29.

A star at USC, Seaver was drafted by the Braves in 1966 and signed with them only for Commissioner William Eckert to void the deal because the Trojans already had played exhibition games that year.

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He also pitched for the Cincinnati Reds and Chicago White Sox and finished his 20-year career with the Boston Red Sox in 1986. Any team willing to match the Braves' signing bonus could enter a lottery, and the Mets won out over the Indians and Phillies. Over his 20-year career, the right-hander compiled a 311-205 record with a 2.86 ERA and an fantastic 231 complete games with 3,640 strikeouts.

Of course, Seaver's pitch was right down the middle. He was elected to the Hall of Fame where he received 98.8 percent of the vote - the highest percentage until Ken Griffey Jr. broke it in 2016. The Mets' 1969 season was perhaps the best of Seaver's career, as he led the majors with 25 wins while sporting a 2.21 ERA.

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