This date 1977: Reds acquire Tom Seaver
June 15, 2019
This date: June 15, 1977:
It's one of those 'where were you?' moments of my youth.
The Reds had just beaten the Phillies 8-7 on a Pete Rose single to score Champ Summers in the bottom of the 10th inning at Riverfront Stadium. We were on the walkway from Riverfront Stadium to Riverfront Coliseum when I heard the news on my transistor radio. I remember yelling the news to fans leaving game and celebrating with my dad: The Reds had just acquired three time Cy Young Award winner Tom Seaver from the Mets.
The Reds sent Doug Flynn, Steve Henderson, Dan Norman and Pat Zachry to New York.
I remember thinking the Reds had just wrapped up a third consecutive World Series title.
At the time, the back-to-back World Champions were struggling at 32-27, seven games back of the first place Dodgers in the NL West.
Seaver went 14-3 2.34 in his 20 starts the rest of the way in 1977, but the Reds could not close the gap on the Dodgers. The Reds went 56-47 after the trade, to finish 88-74, 10 games back of the Dodgers (98-84). The Dodgers would eventually lose to the Yankees in the 1977 World Series.
Seaver pitched parts of six seasons with the Reds: 75-46 3.18 in 158 starts.
He was an All-Star twice ('78, '81) and won 16 games twice ('78, '79).
He would pitch his only career no-hitter in 1978 vs the Cardinals.
The Reds made the playoffs once in his six seasons in Cincinnati, winning the NL West in 1979. But the Reds were swept by the Pirates in the NLCS. Seaver allowed two runs in eight innings and got a no-decision in the Reds 5-2 loss in Game One.
Perhaps his best season with the Reds was 1981 when he went 14-2 2.54. He finished second in the NL Cy Young race to the media driven love-fest for NL Rookie of the Year Fernando Valenzuela of the Dodgers (13-7 2.48).
Flynn spent five years with the Mets, hitting .234. He won a Gold Glove in 1980. Henderson had early success, with 12 homers in 99 games and finishing second in the 1977 Rookie of the Year voting to Andre Dawson. But he hit only 25 homers in the next three seasons and was eventually traded to the Cubs for Dave Kingman. Norman hit. 227 in 139 games over four seasons and ended his career with the Expos in 1982.
The New York Daily News remembered the trade today