The Fresno City Council didn't whiff this one.
With nary a dissenting word, the council on Thursday morning unanimously agreed to designate the portion of Echo Avenue in front of Fresno High School as Tom Seaver Lane.
The designation is honorary. Signs featuring a picture of Seaver in a New York Mets uniform beginning his windup will be posted on this part of Echo.
Seaver is the Baseball Hall of Fame pitcher who honed his mound skills at Fresno High, Fresno City College and the University of Southern California.
The Fresno native pitched 20 years in the big leagues, winning 311 games, pitching 61 shutouts and one no-hitter, striking out 3,640 batters and finishing with a 2.86 earned-run average. He won three Cy Young awards as the National League's top pitcher.
Seaver also is a permanent part of baseball's lore. He broke into the big leagues with the Mets in 1967. The club was only five years old, born in 1962 when the National League expanded from eight to 10 clubs.
The Mets' incompetence in their early years was of epic proportions. Casey Stengel, the Mets' first manager, famously said of his players, "Can't anybody here play this game?"
All of that began to change in the mid-1960s and accelerated with the arrival of Seaver and other talented players. The Mets, with Seaver winning 25 games and his first Cy Young award, became the Miracle Mets in 1969 when they won the World Series.
Pete Mehas and Tom Sommers, long-time champions of Fresno's rich athletic legacy, and Fresno Unified School District Trustee Carol Mills (who represents the Fresno High neighborhood) presented Seaver's case to the council. They said they were spurred to action by local real-estate agent Dick Ellsworth, himself a standout Fresno High pitcher who had a sterling Major League career in the 1960s.
Seaver is one of only two native Fresnans in the Hall of Fame. The other is Frank Chance, the big league first baseman in the late 19th and early 20th centuries whose enduring claim to renown is as the final name in the Tinker-to-Evers-to-Chance double-play combo (made memorable by a popular poem of a century ago).
Southeast Fresno is graced with a marker honoring the site of a former ball field named for Chance. But there's nothing of similar geographical significance in Fresno that honors Seaver, the council was told.
Seaver "was one of the greatest pitchers we've had in baseball," Council President Blong Xiong said.
Xiong and his colleagues then voted 7-0 for Tom Seaver Lane.
The reporter can be reached at (559) 441-6272 or email@example.com. Read his City Beat blog at news.fresnobeehive.com/city-beat.