Tom Seaver and the Alaska Goldpanners

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Seaver says that his association with Boucher is “one of the highlights of my life”

In 1964, before Seaver was a New York Met, he played a season of summer ball with the Alaska Goldpanners of Fairbanks. The team was run by the city’s mayor, Red Boucher. Seaver was one of 18 players on the team’s roster and, in fact, upon his arrival in Fairbanks, was picked up at the airport by Boucher’s wife, handed his uniform, driven to the ballpark, and entered into a live game as a relief pitcher. He was introduced to his catcher, Bud Holowell on the mound. After retiring the side in order, Seaver walked back into the dugout and finished introducing himself to the rest of his teammates. Seaver pitched for the Goldpanners that year in the annual Midnight Sun Game on June 21, 1964 against USC. The game, played on the summer solstice, begins at 10:30 at night and is played without the benefit of any spotlights. During the season, Seaver lived with the Boucher family. Boucher is quoted as saying, “I don’t teach the boys who come to Fairbanks how to throw a curve or field a bunt…I try to work on the psychological side of the their game…Young pitchers today are overly concerned with the techniques of baseball. They’re too concerned with the game from a physical standpoint. They forget it’s an emotional game too…You have to concentrate. To be successful, you must think you are successful. We had a lot of players who could throw the ball harder than Tom. His fast ball moved well but he was no Sandy Koufax. His greatest asset was his tremendous will to win…and he had this super concentration.”

Seaver says that his association with Boucher is “one of the highlights of my life”

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