A Tribute to Our Friend George Thomas:
As a young girl growing up in Northern New Jersey, I loved Tom Seaver. Unequivocally, no holds barred, I loved him. June 15, 1977 was the worst day in my young life. The day the Mets traded THE FRANCHISE! I hated the METS for the next six years and on that beautiful spring day in April of 1983 I was in my seat when The Franchise came home to Shea Stadium, walked out of the bullpen to ROARS from his beloved Mets fans.
Who knew on that day that Tom Seaver would become an intrical part of my life.
I always loved collecting autographs and in the late 90’s I volunteered at a local promoter’s autograph events from ‘97 to 2002. During that five year period I had the privilege of working closely with the greatest pitcher in baseball history. In the beginning I was completely awestruck by this man and was so afraid of miscounting or doing something wrong. But then I started to get to know Tom Seaver, the Man, not the Myth or the Legend; the Man.
He was complex. A headstrong competitor who didn’t trust easy or let you in quickly. But when he did let you in and you became his friend he was devoted, dedicated and would do anything for you. He also was a prankster and a very big kid with a massive laugh and could light up a room the second he walked in.
In 2002, it was Tom who convinced me to start MAB Celebrity Services. He said, do it; I’ll be your first client and that’s all you’ll need.
How right he was. So Tom was our first client. He was so much more to me than that. He was the older brother that I never had. He was very interested in MAB and really relished in any success we had like a Proud Papa.
I must share a story that will tell you the kind of man he was.
I’m a huge Garth Brooks fan.
In 2000, Tom was broadcasting for the Mets and Garth Brooks went to spring training to raise money for his Foundation. Tom also did the preseason games. Well, the first series Tom did at Shea during the 2000 season I picked him up at the airport. By this point I was handling everything for him regarding appearances and memorabilia.
I jumped out of the car and helped him with his luggage. I started to walk to the driver’s door and he yelled, “Mollie, Catch.” He threw a sock to me with something round in the bottom of the sock. He had the biggest grin on his face. I opened the sock and it was a personalized autographed baseball to me from Garth Brooks. Well, Im an Italian woman, we’re emotional by nature. So he decided to make me laugh.
He said, Oh, by the way, your boy Garth better stick to singing, no baseball for him.
The next week I picked Tom up again at the stadium and saw one of the employees who helped do things Tom needed for the Mets. I said hi and he said to me, “How did you like the Garth ball?” I said I loved it and thanked him for helping. He told me Tom carried it in his briefcase all spring training so nobody would take it and he was so excited to give it to me.
I’m telling this story because this is who Tom Seaver was.
If he liked you, he was incredibly thoughtful, giving and caring. There are so many other stories I could share, but there’s not enough water in my tearducks.
So, today the world found out that the Greatest Met ever lost his long battle with an awful illness.
I just want everyone to know in the days ahead, we’re going to hear all about who he was as a baseball player and where he stands among the all time greats of the game and we’re going to hear about his vineyard and what a genius he was to be successful at two amazing careers; but I’m here to tell you Tom Seaver was so much more.
He was an incredibly thoughtful husband, father, grandfather and friend.
He loved Calistoga, California and his beloved GTS VINEYARD, his Rowdy Boys, his gorgeous Labrador retrievers, and he loved the City of New York and the Mets fans.
So, we’re all devastated, but we should truly rejoice; because we’re all blessed that we got to have even a sliver of this man in our lives for whatever time we had with him.
Well, George Thomas, until we meet again, I want to say thank you for what you’ve given both Joey and me; your unfettered, loyalty, faith and love!
It’s time for you to go see Gilly. Just hope he doesn’t give you that stern face that scared you half to death always and say, “Tommy, You will not throw a hanging curve.”
Go rest high on that mountain
The world is less Everything today!