Not unlike Seaver, who in recent off-seasons has jogged, done light weight work and pitched into a net set up in the basement of his Greenwich, Conn. home, Fisk last October turned to a regimen of weightlifting, flexibility exercises, strict diet and Zen philosophy. Fisk's body has all too often been bruised and broken. Only three times in his 14 big league seasons has he totaled as many as 500 official at bats; he had to sit out much of last season with a pulled abdominal muscle. But thanks to off-season work with free weights, he gained 20 pounds and is in the finest shape of his career.
In the public mind, to be sure, Fisk will forever be the gritty soul of those Red Sox. Seaver, similarly, remains to most fans the heart of the Mets, for whom he won 198 games in two stints totaling 11� seasons. He was snatched up by the White Sox in January of 1984 when the Mets, in what was widely taken to be a colossal blunder, failed to protect him in the free-agent compensation draft. Seaver was initially furious over the apparent gaffe—as were New York fans who still hadn't forgiven Met management for an earlier trade to Cincinnati—but he came to Chicago determined to make the best of it. And, as can be easily told from the familiar dirt stain on his right knee each time he pitches, he surely has. In fact, since the 5-13 disaster of 1982, when a sore shoulder had him contemplating retirement, Seaver hasn't missed a single start.
Still, with his Connecticut house just a commuter's drive north of Shea Stadium and his greatest memories reposing in that ball park, Seaver would rather have finished his career in New York.
" Chicago's not a home for me, certainly not," he says, typically direct. "I feel at home with the people I work with here; it's as good a group of guys as I've ever been with. And the city's fine. Chicago is a great city. But as far as living here, I feel like I'm a visitor." He and his wife and daughters rent a downtown Chicago apartment during the season and spend much of their time sightseeing, dining out and shopping. "We try to do things visitors would do," says Seaver.
"I probably enjoy pitching as much now as I ever have—more than I ever have—because I know more about it." And the 300 milestone? "I don't sit back and reflect on the significance of it. I don't dwell on it. There will be time for all that later. I'm not done yet." Seaver points out that he does have a new goal: "That," he says with a smile, "is to win number 301."
With 300 wins under his belt, Seaver went over toward the Yankee dugout to accept a silver bowl—a gift of the Yankees—from Phil Niekro, who is only six away from 300 himself. The two old masters together made quite a picture.