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New York Mets History

Mets History: The one where Tom Seaver returns for Opening Day 1983

FLUSHING, NY - 1983: Tom Seaver of the New York Mets delivers a pitch during a game in 1983 at Shea Stadium in Flushing, Quenns, New York. (Photo by Rich Pilling/MLB Photos via Getty Images)
FLUSHING, NY - 1983: Tom Seaver of the New York Mets delivers a pitch during a game in 1983 at Shea Stadium in Flushing, Quenns, New York. (Photo by Rich Pilling/MLB Photos via Getty Images) /
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On April 5, 1983, Tom Seaver officially returned to the New York Mets again with an Opening Day start at Shea Stadium.

Tom Seaver’s first stint with the New York Mets was memorable, remarkable, outstanding, and a whole bunch of other words to describe just how genuinely amazing he was.

What many may not remember is that the 1977 trade which sent him to the Cincinnati Reds was not his final tour in New York. On December 16, 1982, he was traded back to the Mets.

Seaver’s sequel in New York lasted just one season. Now at age 38, he was coming off of an atypically poor year over in Cincinnati. Seaver went just 5-13 with a 5.50 ERA for the Reds in 1982. What could he give the Mets in 1983?

Round two in Flushing began with Seaver doing something he did very often with the Mets: start on Opening Day.

On April 5, 1983, Seaver made his official return to the Mets at Shea Stadium against the Philadelphia Phillies. Up against longtime rival and lefty counterpart Steve Carlton, the game went the way many would suspect.

The game ended up as a classic pitcher’s duel with only 11 hits for the game. Each of them were singles with the Mets getting six. Fortunately for New York, their singles were a little timelier and led to the lone two runs of the game in this 2-0 shutout win for the Mets.

Seaver, however, settled for a no-decision in this one. In his six strong innings of work, the greatest pitcher in Mets history tossed a half-dozen shutout frames of three-hit ball. He walked one, struck out five, and picked future Hall of Famer Joe Morgan off of first base.

Doug Sisk would be the one to take the win in this game on the stat sheet. His three shutout innings to end the ball game helped the Mets to win in Seaver’s much-anticipated return.

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Seaver went on to have a rebound season which included a 9-14 record across 34 starts. He ended the year with a 3.55 ERA much closer to what one might expect from an aging star and not a number suggesting it’s time to hang up the cleats.

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