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ACR-52 Tom Seaver Memorial Highway.(2021-2022)

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Assembly Concurrent Resolution No. 52

Relative to the Tom Seaver Memorial Highway.

[ Filed with Secretary of State  September 17, 2021. ]


ACR 52, Patterson. Tom Seaver Memorial Highway.
This measure would designate a specified portion of State Highway Route 41 in the County of Fresno as the Tom Seaver Memorial Highway. The measure would request that the Department of Transportation determine the cost of appropriate signs showing this special designation and, upon receiving donations from nonstate sources covering that cost, erect those signs.
Fiscal Committee: YES  

WHEREAS, Tom Seaver was born in the City of Fresno, California, to Betty Lee and Charles Henry Seaver; and
WHEREAS, Tom was the youngest of four children; and
WHEREAS, He grew up on Arthur Avenue in Fresno, and his family were longtime members of the Sunnyside Country Club; and
WHEREAS, He attended Fresno High School and pitched for the school’s baseball team, compensating for his lack of size and strength by developing great control on the mound; and
WHEREAS, Seaver joined the United States Marine Corps Reserve on June 28, 1962, serving with the United States Aircraft, Fleet Marine Force, Pacific, at Twentynine Palms, California, through July 1963, and, after six months of active duty in the reserve, enrolled at Fresno City College and remained a part-time member of the reserve until his eight-year commitment ended in 1970; and
WHEREAS, The University of Southern California (USC) recruited Seaver to play college baseball and offered him a scholarship after he pitched for the Alaska Goldpanners of Fairbanks in the summer of 1964, during which he pitched and hit a grand slam to win a game in a national tournament; and
WHEREAS, As a sophomore in 1965, Seaver posted a 10-2 record pitching for the USC Trojans and was selected in the 10th round of the 1965 Major League Baseball draft by the Los Angeles Dodgers, who failed to sign Seaver to a contract; and
WHEREAS, In 1966, the New York Mets were awarded the right to sign Seaver, who made the Mets’ opening day roster in 1967; and
WHEREAS, In 1967, before his first All-Star game, Seaver introduced himself to Hank Aaron, assuming Aaron would not know who he was, and asked for his autograph, to which Aaron replied, “Kid, I know who you are, and before your career is over, I guarantee you everyone in this stadium will, too”; and
WHEREAS, Hank Aaron stated that Seaver was the toughest pitcher he ever faced; and
WHEREAS, After an impressive 20-season career in Major League Baseball, only Seaver and Walter Johnson had compiled 300 wins, 3,000 strikeouts, and earned run averages under 3.00, and Seaver had the third most strikeouts, 3,640, in Major League Baseball history, which is now sixth all time; and
WHEREAS, Seaver is tied with Nolan Ryan for the seventh-most shutouts in Major League Baseball history, holds the record for consecutive 200-strikeout seasons with nine, spanning from 1968 to 1976, inclusive, and set records by striking out 10 consecutive batters and making 16 opening-day starts; and
WHEREAS, The Mets retired Seaver’s uniform number 41 in 1988 in a Tom Seaver Day ceremony, making him the franchise’s first player to be so honored; and
WHEREAS, Seaver was elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame on January 7, 1992, with the then-highest percentage of votes for induction with 98.84 percent of the vote, being named on 425 out of 430 ballots; and
WHEREAS, Seaver is one of two players enshrined in the Baseball Hall of Fame with a Mets cap on his plaque, along with Mike Piazza, and was also inducted into the New York Mets Hall of Fame, the Marine Corps Sports Hall of Fame, and the Cincinnati Reds Hall of Fame; and
WHEREAS, On September 28, 2006, ESPN chose Seaver as the “Hometown Hero” for the Mets franchise; and
WHEREAS, Seaver made a return to Shea Stadium during the “Shea Goodbye” closing ceremony on September 28, 2008, where he threw out the final pitch in the history of the stadium to Piazza, and, along with Piazza, he opened the Mets’ new home stadium, Citi Field, with the ceremonial first pitch on April 13, 2009; and
WHEREAS, In 2019, New York City renamed 126th Street, the street outside Citi Field, Seaver Way and changed the ballpark’s address to 41 Seaver Way, a salute to the number he wore throughout his career; and
WHEREAS, The 2013 Major League Baseball All-Star Game was dedicated to Seaver, and he concluded the introduction of the starting lineups ceremony by throwing out the ceremonial first pitch; and
WHEREAS, In 1999, Sporting News ranked Seaver 32nd on its list of the 100 greatest baseball players of all time, the only player on the list to have spent a majority of his career with the Mets; and
WHEREAS, In 2016, ESPN ranked Seaver 34th on its list of the greatest Major League Baseball players of all time, while The Athletic ranked him the 41st greatest player of all time in 2020; and
WHEREAS, Seaver met his wife of 54 years, Nancy Lynn McIntyre, in Fresno, and they have two daughters, Sarah and Anne, and four grandsons; and
WHEREAS, In retirement, Tom and Nancy returned to California to pursue their dream of raising grapes in Napa Valley; and
WHEREAS, Tom worked daily in his vineyard and lived in Napa valley for over 20 years before his passing in 2020; now, therefore, be it
Resolved by the Assembly of the State of California, the Senate thereof concurring, That the Legislature designates the portion of State Highway Route 41 from the East Jensen Avenue Overcrossing No. 42-268 (postmile R21.113) to the South Fresno Viaduct No. 42-226 (postmile R22.107) in the County of Fresno as the Tom Seaver Memorial Highway; and be it further
Resolved, That the Department of Transportation is requested to determine the cost of appropriate signs, consistent with the signing requirements for the state highway system, showing this special designation and, upon receiving donations from nonstate sources sufficient to cover the cost, to erect those signs; and be it further
Resolved, That the Chief Clerk of the Assembly transmit copies of this resolution to the Department of Transportation and to the author for appropriate distribution.