New York Mets' great Tom Seaver diagnosed with dementia at 74

NEW YORK (WABC) -- Hall of Fame pitcher Tom Seaver has been diagnosed with dementia and has retired from public life.

The family of the 74-year-old made the announcement Thursday through the Hall. They say Seaver will continue to work in the vineyard at his home in California.

Seaver has limited his public appearances in recent years. He didn't attend the Baseball Writers' Association of America dinner in January, when members of the New York Mets' 1969 World Series championship team were honored.

In a statement released by the Hall of Fame, Seaver's family expressed thanks for those who have supported Seaver throughout his career and asked for privacy.

Seaver, 74, helped propel the Miracle Mets of 1969 to a World Series title. The righthander, known as "Tom Terrific," won the Cy Young Award that year, and led the National League with 25 wins.

The one-time Rookie of the Year was selected to the All-Star Game 12 times, led the lead in strikeouts five times and won three Cy Young awards.

He finished his career with 311 wins and 3,640 strikeouts.

Seaver pitched for the Mets from 1967 until 1977, when he was traded to Cincinnati after a public spat with Mets chairman M. Donald Grant.

Seaver also pitched for the Chicago White Sox, and he finished his 20-year career with the Boston Red Sox in 1986.

A five-time 20-game winner, Seaver was elected to the Hall of Fame in 1992 with a then-record 98.94 percent of the ballots, appearing on 425 of 430.

Seaver's family says he will continue to work in the vineyard at his home in California.

"He will always be the heart and soul of the Mets, the standard which all Mets aspire to, this breaks my heart," tweeted former Mets catcher Mike Piazza, a fellow Hall of Famer. "Do not feel worthy to be mentioned in the same breath."

(The Associated Press and ESPN contributed to this report)

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