A plaque remaining from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem.

Above, a 1934 plaque from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem. Discarded as trash in 2006. Now a Popeye's fast food restaurant on Google Maps.

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Entry from October 29, 2019
“Blind people come to the ballpark just to listen to him pitch”

The Oakland A’s played the New York Mets in baseball’s 1973 World Series. Reggie Jackson was an Oakland A’s star (he would later sign with the New York Yankees), and he and his teammates praised New York Mets pitcher Tom Seaver. Both Jackson and Seaver would later enter baseball’s Hall of Fame.

Jackson joked a bit in his praise of Seaver. The quotation has varied slightly in wording, and this was printed in the Pittsburgh (PA) Press on October 16, 1973:

“Seaver, he’s the greatest. People in China have heard about Tom Seaver. Blind people come to the games just to listen to him pitch.”

From the Sacramento (CA) Bee on the same day:

“Reggie says Seaver ‘is what baseball is all about. They’ve even heard of him in Red China. Blind people come to Shea Stadium just to hear Tom Seaver pitch...’”


Wikipedia: Tom Seaver
George Thomas Seaver (born November 17, 1944), nicknamed Tom Terrific and The Franchise, is an American former professional baseball pitcher, who played in Major League Baseball (MLB) for the New York Mets, Cincinnati Reds, Chicago White Sox, and Boston Red Sox, from 1967 to 1986. He played a significant role in the Mets’ victory in the 1969 World Series.

With the Mets, Seaver won the National League (NL)’s Rookie of the Year Award in 1967, and won three NL Cy Young Awards as the league’s best pitcher. He is a 12-time All-Star. Seaver is the Mets’ all-time leader in wins, and he threw a no-hitter in 1978. During a 20-year MLB career, he compiled 311 wins, 3,640 strikeouts, 61 shutouts, and a 2.86 earned run average.

16 October 1973, Sacramento (CA) Bee, “Gone But Not Forgotten” by Herb Michelson, pg. C3, col. 8:
Reggie says Seaver “is what baseball is all about. They’ve even heard of him in Red China. Blind people come to Shea Stadium just to hear Tom Seaver pitch...”

Newspapers.com
Newspapers.com (Continuation.—ed.)
16 October 1973, Pittsburgh (PA) Press, “Battle Lines Are Drawn:  Oakland A’s Vs. Mets Fans” by Bob Smizik, pg. 29, col. 8:
When asked about Seaver, Jackson exclaimed, “Seaver, he’s the greatest. People in China have heard about Tom Seaver. Blind people come (Pg. 30, col. 3—ed.) to the games just to listen to him pitch.”

Some kidder, that Reggie Jackson, Until that is, he gets a bat in his hand.

Newspapers.com
17 October 1973, Windsor (ON) Star, “Stengel still at his best” by Jack Dulmage, pg. 29, col. 1:
Reggie Jackson of the A’s says Seaver is so good that blind people come out to hear him pitch.

Newspapers.com
17 October 1973, Akron (OH) Beacon Journal, “Unusual Dooms ‘Tom Terrific’” by Jack Patterson, pg. F1, col. 1:
“There isn’t a person in the world who hasn’t heard about Tom Seaver. He’s so good blind people come out to HEAR him pitch.”—Reggie Jackson, Oakland A’s.

17 October 1973, The Globe and Mail (Toronto, ON), “By Dick Beddoes,” pg. 34, col. 1:
“Everybody in the world has heard of Seaver,” Jackson said. “he’s so good that blind people come out to hear him pitch.”

Google Books
Tom Seaver:
Portrait of a Pitcher

By Malka Drucker with Tom Seaver
New York, NY: Holiday House
1978
Pg. 122:
Before the first game of the World Series, Reggie Jackson, Oakland’s grand-slam slugger, quipped, “There isn’t a person in the world who hasn’t heard about Tom Seaver. He’s so good blind people come out to hear him pitch.”

Newspapers.com
5 June 1987, Poughkeepsie (NY) Journal, “The Mets don’t need Seaver back” by Michael Zuccarello, pg. 1B, col. 1:
Let us think of Tom Seaver as the pitcher who inspired Reggie Jackson to say, “Blind people come to the ballpark just to hear him pop the catcher’s mitt.”

Newspapers.com
2 August 1992, Daily Record (Morris County, NJ), “Greatest Met joins immortals” by Sandy Seegers, pg. C8, col. 2:
“There isn’t a person in the world who hasn’t heard about Tom Seaver,” the Oakland A’s Reggie Jackson said during the 1973 World Series when his team played the Mets. “He’s so good blind people come out to hear him pitch.”

Google Books
The Reader’s Digest
Volume 143, Issues 856-860
1993
Pg. 68:
SAID REGGIE JACKSON, when asked how fast Tom Seaver pitched: “Blind people come to the game just to listen to his fastball.”—Sports Illustrated

Newspapers.com
20 February 1996, The San Bernardino County Sun (San Bernardino, CA), “Kaleidoscope,” pg. C2, col. 1:
A SIGHT FOR SORE EARS:
Reggie Jackson, on fellow Hall of Famer Tom Seaver: “Blind people would come to the ballpark just to listen to him pitch.”

Twitter
Patrick Keane
@phkeane
“Blind men come to the park just to hear him pitch.” Reggie Jackson on Tom Seaver.
4:33 PM · Jun 28, 2010·Twitter Web Client

Twitter
Baseball Quotes
@BaseballQuotes1
He throws so hard. Blind people come to the park just to hear him pitch. -Reggie Jackson on Tom Seaver
Reggie Jackson and 2 others
2:24 PM · Dec 3, 2015·Twitter for iPhone

Twitter
Baseball Quotes
@BaseballQuotes1
Blind people come to the park just to listen to him pitch. -Reggie Jackson on Tom Seaver
New York Mets and 2 others
1:11 PM · Nov 16, 2016·Twitter for iPhone

Twitter
GrumpyOldGuy
@scwhitley
Just reading the profile on Tom Seaver in the 10/21 issue of #SI (so GoG is a little slow 🙄).  Reggie Jackson “Blind men come to the park just to hear him pitch”. 🙏
7:41 PM · Oct 25, 2019·Twitter for iPad

Posted by Barry Popik
New York CitySports/Games • Tuesday, October 29, 2019 • Permalink