The Last Icon: Tom Seaver and His Times

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Overview

In early 1969, New York City and all it represented was in disarray: politically, criminally, and athletically. But while Simon and Garfunkel lamented the absence of a sports icon like Joe DiMaggio, a modern Lancelot rode forth to lead the New York Mets to heights above and beyond all sports glory.

This book tells the complete, unvarnished story of the great Tom Seaver, that rarest of all American heroes, the New York Sports Icon. In a city that produces not mere mortals but ...

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The Last Icon: Tom Seaver and His Times

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Overview

In early 1969, New York City and all it represented was in disarray: politically, criminally, and athletically. But while Simon and Garfunkel lamented the absence of a sports icon like Joe DiMaggio, a modern Lancelot rode forth to lead the New York Mets to heights above and beyond all sports glory.

This book tells the complete, unvarnished story of the great Tom Seaver, that rarest of all American heroes, the New York Sports Icon. In a city that produces not mere mortals but sports gods, Seaver represented the last of a breed. His deeds, his times, his town—it was part of a vanishing era, an era of innocence. In 1969, six years after John F. Kennedy’s assassination, Seaver and the Mets were the last gasp of idealism before free agency, Watergate, and cynicism. Here is the story of “Tom Terrific” of the “Amazin’ Mets,” a man worthy of a place alongside DiMaggio, Ruth, Mantle, and Namath in the pantheon of New York idols.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
In the final chapter of this Hall of Fame pitcher's biography, Travers (Barry Bonds: Baseball's Superman) states that he has finally written the quintessential Seaver book. However, it's unclear whether he even interviewed his subject and, though the book is organized chronologically, many details seem randomly inserted. The result reeks of hero worship and reads like a sloppy, book-length term paper reliant on an extensive bibliography and a multitude of unattributed quotes from Seaver, his teammates, coaches, and managers. Nicknamed "The Franchise" after leading the New York Mets to an unlikely 1969 World Series championship, the man is certainly deserving of Travers's praise. Faithful to his marriage vows and a stickler for training, Seaver wasn't like other ballplayers of the era, on or off the mound; his relentless pursuit of perfection is reflected in over 20 seasons with four Major League teams, a successful broadcasting career, and current California vineyard ownership. Travers turns a critical eye on Seaver when addressing how he responded to post-World Series fame, but he staunchly defends the pitcher against charges of greed regarding contract negotiations. Agency: Objective Entertainment. (Nov.)
New York Post
A fascinating new book...
— Steve Serby, Sports Columnist
Spadora on Sports
I really enjoy your writing and how you tell the story.
— Pete Spadora
AtHomePlate.com
...[A]nyone who grew up admiring Tom Terrific will enjoy reading. Clearly New Yorkers and Mets fans will get the most out of this book, but anyone who has ever debated just who the best pitcher in baseball's long history will find grist for the mill within the pages.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781589796607
  • Publisher: Taylor Trade Publishing
  • Publication date: 11/15/2011
  • Pages: 312
  • Sales rank: 988,505
  • Product dimensions: 6.10 (w) x 9.10 (h) x 1.30 (d)

Meet the Author

Steven Travers is a USC graduate and ex-professional baseball player. He is the author of the best-selling Barry Bonds: Baseball's Superman, nominated for a Casey Award (Best Baseball Book of 2002). He is also the author of The USC Trojans: College Football's All-Time Greatest Dynasty and One Night, Two Teams: Alabama vs. USC and the Game that Changed the Nation. He lives in San Anselmo, California.

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 5
( 8 )
Rating Distribution

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Sort by: Showing 1 – 9 of 8 Customer Reviews
  • Posted December 15, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    An interesting look at baseball and Tom Seaver

    Tom Seaver is the quintessential New York Met. The Mets were a hapless team, a joke in baseball when Seaver was signed in 1966. Steven Travers' new book, The Last Icon: Tom Seaver and His Times takes you back to those days. Seaver was a Southern California boy, raised in a conservative family in a conservative community. He was not the best baseball player, but he loved the game. He became a real student of the game, studying the history of it and mechanics of pitching. He was one of the first major league players to use a weight training program, after discovering that working in a loading dock at a factory made him stronger and improved his stamina and pitching. I learned many things from this interesting book. I had heard of the Cape Cod league for up and coming players, but I had no idea that what Cape Cod was to east coast baseball, Alaska was the western equivalent. Who would have thought that? Seaver's days playing for a great coach in Alaska help make him the great player he became. The Vietnam War was raging, and I never knew how many players were in the reserves, and missed games to serve their weekends. I can't imagine that happening today. Seaver was an intelligent guy, and during the off-season, he went back to USC to take classes to finish his degree. Not many athletes then or now would do that, although back in the 1960s, the contracts were not that lucrative. Winning was important to Seaver, and he had a strong work ethic. It annoyed him that many of the players on the Mets did not take the job of baseball seriously. Some of his teammates did not like Seaver, thinking that he believed himself to be better than they were. He had a reputation for being faithful to his wife on the road, and this bugged some players, while others tried to live up to Seaver's high standards. Growing up in a conservative white community, thoughts on race were different then, something from which the author doesn't shy away. Jackie Robinson had opened the door to black major leaguers, and men like Seaver found their views on race challenged. The season of 1969, when things really jelled for the Mets, is detailed here. Seaver led this team, which had great pitching but lacked hitting. He consistently posted annual ERAs of under 2.00, yet he lost many games 1-0, 2-1, 3-2 because his team did not score enough runs. They seemed to save their runs for pitchers like Jerry Koosman. Seaver dominated the game, winning the Cy Young Award three times, yet he never won the league MVP, though many people thought he deserved it. He won more games than any other Mets pitcher, led the league numerous times in strikeouts, wins and ERA. The author did not get to interview Seaver for this book. He culls many other books and magazine articles, including many that Seaver himself has written, though Seaver has not written the definitive autobiography he has said he would one day write. (Reportedly his management has said that not enough money has been offered.) The Last Icon is a must-read for any Mets fan, and for any baseball fan for that matter. Travers not only gives you a look at this fascinating man, but he evokes a time in baseball when baseball was the American past time. I was taken back to a magical time in my life, when I couldn't wait to watch the Saturday afternoon game on TV with my father and siblings. If you have a baseball fan on your Christmas list, this is a fantastic gift.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted November 8, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    0 stars

    The worst Baseball book I have ever had the Displeasure of buying. Utter rubbsh replete with factual errors and total hero worship worthy of a 10 year old.

    1 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 15, 2012

    Burningkit

    "I would never claw anyone. Im not a monster." He sighed, padding back to the nursery with the emerald that he retrieved.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 15, 2012

    Larkkit

    Burningkit...

    0 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 15, 2012

    Swirlkit

    Followed

    0 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 13, 2012

    Darkpelt

    Here!

    0 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 12, 2012

    Doomclaw

    Waits foe his appprentice.

    0 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 8, 2012

    Skyleap

    Twolegs...attacked my Clan...first result...WHY CAN'T I FEEL MY LEG?! please...go to first result and tell them that skyleap needs help at this result. * shrieks as a twoleg comes and drags her to captive first resul* HELP!

    0 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 8, 2012

    Hello

    Hello

    0 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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Sort by: Showing 1 – 9 of 8 Customer Reviews

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