Thomas Gordon Seaton
Born: August 30, 1887 - Blair, NE
Died: April 10, 1940 - El Paso, TX
MLB Pitching Record: 92–65
Philadelphia Phillies NL (1912–1913)
Brooklyn Tip-Tops FL (1914–1915)
Newark Pepper FL (1915)
Chicago Cubs NL (1916–1917)
Another controversial player, Tom Seaton was a very good pitcher but concerns about his character arose later in his career. While playing in the Northwestern League and the Pacific Coast League, Seaton honed his pitching skills, developing a big sweeping curveball and an excellent command of his fastball. Signed by the Phillies in 1912, Seaton had a successful breakout year going 16–12 with a 3.28 earned-run average. In 1913, he was, without a doubt, the best pitcher in the National League, compiling a 27–12 record to go along with a nifty 2.60 ERA. He also led the league that year with 322 innings pitched and 168 Ks.
The new Federal League offered Seaton a boatload of money in 1914 to sign with the Brooklyn Tip-Tops, and his first campaign was very successful. A workhorse again, Seaton pitched over 300 innings to compile a 25–14 record, but soon after developed shoulder problems. After the Federal League folded, Seaton was signed by the Cubs but was just not the same pitcher. He most likely developed a rotator cuff problem which was not successfully treated due to medical technology of that time. After a few lackluster seasons he was sold to a Minor League team.
Seaton played in the Pacific Coast League and had some pretty good seasons for the San Francisco Seals. While in the PCL, rumors started to circulate, implicating that Seaton bet on or against various teams that he played for. Charges were not brought against him, and wrong doing was never proven, but in the wake of the 1919 Black Sox scandal, Seaton was promptly released from his Pacific Coast League team. He hooked up with a Southern League team only to be released again because of the rumors. No longer welcome in professional baseball, Tom Seaton played semi-pro Industrial League ball until 1927 and then faded from the baseball scene. He retired to El Paso, where he worked for a smelting company as foreman and made a name for himself as the best bowler in the area. After battling lung cancer, Seaton died in 1940 at age 52.
– Tom and Ellen Zappala, The Cracker Jack Collection: Baseball's Prized Players. For more information on their book and/or to order a copy at a special PSA discount, visit http://crackerjackplayers.com/PSA_order.html