Favorite Athlete: Tom Seaver

Tom Seaver did me a priceless favor on the evening of June 15, 1977. I’d grown up cheering, admiring – worshipping – Seaver, idolized him, kept score for all his games. I was 10. There is never a time when a favorite baseball player means more to you than at 10.

And then he was gone. The papers called him greedy. Seaver called the Mets cheap. I cried the morning of June 16, and suddenly learned a great sporting lesson: It is OK to love sports, but they don’t always love you back. Doesn’t make the relationship any less important. Just different.

-- Mike Vaccaro is sports columnist columnist for the New York Post, author of three excellent books, he has memorized every line from the two Godfather movies that actually exist and he knows more about the Beatles than Paul McCartney (or at least more than McCartney remembers).