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Tuesday, November 15, 2011

The Last Icon - Steven Travers

Released November 15, 2011

Tom Seaver
Steven Travers
Taylor Trade

Reviewed by Tracy Farnsworth

Many baseball fans know the name Tom Seaver. I won't call myself a MLB fan, but I grew up with a brother who followed the Red Sox almost religiously and later married another die-hard fan. For virtually all of my life, like it or not, I've been immersed in baseball since I was a young child. Tom Seaver really played for the Mets. While his career ended with the Red Sox, he was a Met's player from 1967 to 1977. What follows in The Last Icon is a look at Seaver's childhood, college years and progression into a very long run in MLB.

There are things in The Last Icon that really kind of shocked me. It's hard not to pay attention to the salaries some athletes make.  In comparison, Seaver was one of the lowest paid I've come across. Author Steven Travers, also a MLB player, lists Seaver's salary over the 20 years he was with the Mets, Reds, White Sox and Red Sox and it came to just under $5.9 million. There are baseball players earning far more than that after just a few years, and some I don't feel deserve what they earn. Granted, 25 years have passed since Seaver retired, but still. Look at the Yankees' contract with A. J. Burnett, one that cost them $82.5 million over five years and he went 32-35. By comparison, Seaver was making a paltry amount.

The Last Icon covers all of Seaver's years in baseball and progress into where he is now. For me, that's one of the best parts. By the end of the book, you learn about his vineyard and the wines he and his family produce. All in all, it's a comprehensive look at both the MLB player and the man. There's more to this biography than just the sporting side thanks to this very personal, in-depth look.

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