Veteran sportswriter Bill Madden writes a biography of a baseball and New York sports legend, Tom Seaver, voted into the Hall of Fame by the highest percentage vote ever at the time and still the most popular player in Mets history.
The individual games and accomplishments by Seaver and the Mets are well documented in dozens of other books. Where Madden excels is in Seaver’s pre- and post-Major League life ... endless thanks must go to Madden for this memorable gift.
Madden has captured much of Seaver’s greatness and a good number of his human qualities ... The narrative is filled with quotes and insights from the Seaver family and close friends and from Tom’s classmates and teammates in Fresno and New York. All of this material is nicely woven around the highlights and lowlights of Seaver’s baseball career ... One of the strongest points of Madden’s work is his portrayal of the relationship between Tom and Nancy Seaver and the primary importance of Nancy Seaver in the maturation of Tom Seaver from boy to man. Madden also captures Seaver’s relationship with his father, his brothers, and his daughters ... As in most sports books, there are many accounts of big games and critical and decisive parts of winning seasons. Madden has a great eye for just the right quote, from the right source, to illuminate the personality and character of the Hall of Fame pitcher ... At certain points Madden delves into Seaver’s personality and reveals bits and pieces of its complexity. This is the one element of Madden’s work that comes up short. He hints at Tom Seaver’s less pleasant characteristics. It seems clear that Madden could have taken this much deeper and revealed a more complete and complex picture of the man. Tom Seaver, like of us, was a slightly flawed human being, yet someone who could serve as a role model for many members of the human family ... This is an interesting book with much to commend it. For the Mets fans it offers a smorgasbord of baseball delights, and for the rest of us a good read about a great pitcher and a man who understood himself and had confidence in his abilities which he developed to the fullest.
... wonderful ... Madden has brilliantly captured Seaver’s career as well as giving us a look into his fascinating life ... Moving chapters reflect on his friendship with fellow Mets teammate Gil Hodges, and the impact of Hodges’s sudden death in 1972 ... This definitive biography of Seaver’s life and times is well written and highly recommended. A must-read for all Mets fans.