The New York Mets unveiled a statue of Hall of Fame pitcher Tom Seaver on Friday, immortalizing the late legend in bronze and steel outside the entrance to Citi Field.
Seaver died in 2020 at 75. His widow, Nancy, and their daughters, Sarah and Annie, accepted the tribute to him.
“Hello Tom, it’s so nice to have you where you belong,” Nancy Seaver said, tears in her eyes.
The ceremony came before the Mets’ home opener against the Arizona Diamondbacks, and several dignitaries were on hand. They included Mets owner Steve Cohen, former owner Fred Wilpon, ex-New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, and former Mets stars Mike Piazza, Ron Darling, Mookie Wilson and Keith Hernandez. Injured ace Jacob deGrom also was there.
“There is a reason he was called ‘The Franchise,'” Cohen said. “You can’t measure what Tom Seaver meant to this organization. This magnificent statue will be a wonderful daily reminder to Mets fans coming to Citi Field that Tom Seaver is forever a Mets legend.”
Seaver pitched from the Mets from 1967-77 and was the dominant National League pitcher of the era, winning Rookie of the Year honors and three Cy Young awards. He was a key member of the Mets’ 1969 World Series-winning team, finishing 25-7 with a 2.21 ERA.
He had a record of 198-124 with a 2.57 ERA and 171 complete games — 44 of them shutouts — in a Mets uniform.
In the second half of his career, Seaver pitched for the Cincinnati Reds (1977-82), then returned to the Mets in 1983. He also played with the Chicago White Sox (1984-86) and Boston Red Sox (1986).
Seaver retired at age 41 with a career record of 311-205 and a 2.86 ERA. He was elected to the National Baseball Hall of Fame in 1992, named on 98.8 percent of the ballots.
The statue was created by sculptor William Behrends, who immortalized Willie Mays in a statue that stands outside Oracle Park in San Francisco and Tony Gwynn in a monument at Petco Park in San Diego. The 3,200-pound artwork shows Seaver in motion and stands 10 feet high and 13 1/2 feet wide.
–Field Level Media