Much like the fans who rooted for him as a player, the loss of Tom Seaver had an emotional impact on Keith Hernandez.
Prior to the Mets-Yankees game, the SNY booth was discussing the legendary Met who passed away on Monday at the age of 75, and Hernandez couldn’t get through his own thoughts about the Hall of Fame pitcher.
“We knew that he had dementia and those kinds of issues, and I knew that he was kind of heading down the wrong path. My mom had been there. It’s a tough day,” Hernandez said, breaking down and giving way to Ron Darling.
“He was like a big brother to me,” Darling said. “When I first was called up to the major leagues, the biggest star that ever played for the Mets would ask me to do crossword puzzles, would ask me to play bridge when someone dropped out, ask me to dinner on the road and to his home. You don’t know what that meant to someone like who, who was the oldest kid, never had a big brother. It was just a fantastic feeling.”
Keith Hernandez and Ron Darling paying tribute to Tom Seaver before the game. pic.twitter.com/9ldUayiqoP
— Dylan Hornik (@_Hornik_) September 3, 2020
Ironically, Hernandez was Seaver’s 3,000th strikeout as a member of the Cardinals on April 18, 1981. And, as Darling noted, Seaver was with the Mets early in his career as well.