The second weekend in April will be remembered as a special time in the history of the New York Mets.
At the 2022 home opener, the team was set to unveil its most important and essential tribute ever. April 12, 2022, will forever be marked as the day when the New York Mets unveiled the Tom Seaver statue in front of Citi Field. 

Much to the satisfaction of their followers, the Mets have increased their embrace of team history in recent years, especially under second-year owner Steve Cohen, who grew up as a fan of the team.

The everlasting monument of the iconic pitcher known as “The Franchise” comes in the same season when the team celebrates its 60th anniversary. 

The Tom Seaver Statue Rises in Front of Citi Field

A shining historical moment to open a new season:

“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,” Cohen said. 

There is a sense among many Mets fans that a new era of the team has started under Cohen, and what better way to inspire his ballclub as it chases its sixth National League pennant than to remind them of the organization’s greatest player?

Seaver is arguably the greatest pitcher to ever take a mound in New York and is regarded as the ace of the greatest all-time trio of Mets starters that also includes Jacob deGrom and Dwight Gooden. 

In 2019, the Mets changed their official address in Flushing to 41 Seaver Way. Now the greatest salute to Seaver will be located to the right of the historic Home Run Apple from Shea Stadium in front of the current park. 

“This is a wonderful way to honor Dad’s legacy and to celebrate his wonderful years in New York,” said Sarah Seaver, Tom’s oldest daughter.

“The Mets have been working on this for years. We are thrilled to share this with all the fans who supported Dad throughout his career.”

The Seaver statue’s arrival comes as a part of an ongoing recent wave of the Mets continuing to pay homage to their history. In the same season when Seaver gets his statue, Keith Hernandez will have his number retired by the organization on July 9.

Always regarded as the emotional leader of the greatest edition of the team in 1986, this is another event Mets fans have long clamored for. 

“This is truly a special honor that lasts beyond a lifetime,” Hernandez said.

“I was very emotional when Steve called to let me know about the number retirement. This is the highest honor an organization can bestow upon a player.”

Photo: NY Daily News

Before Hernandez, the latest Mets legend to have his number retired was Jerry Koosman, who combined with Seaver in the late 1960s and 70s to give the Mets a stellar duo at the top of their pitching staff. His No. 36 was retired in August of 2021. Koosman was 4-0 in the postseason in his career and was regarded as a top big-game starter for the Mets. 

The Tom Seaver Statue unveiling joins other upcoming Mets celebrations.

Younger Mets fans are getting more opportunities to learn about the history of the team. But the Mets will also recognize a major moment in recent team lore when they bring back Johan Santana on May 31 to honor the 10th anniversary of the first no-hitter in franchise annals. Josh Thole, who caught Santana that night in 2012, will also be present for a pregame ceremony. 

There also will be an opportunity for all fans to witness the rebirth of Mets Old Timers’ Day on August 27, which will return as a major event for the first time since the 1994 season.

Followers of the team of all ages will be able to see many of their favorite players from various eras sporting the orange and blue as they used to. 

“It will be great to put on a Mets uniform again,” said Daniel Murphy, who was the MVP of the 2015 National League Championship Series.

“I’m sure when I hit the field, my mind will be racing back to 2015. That was an incredibly special time.”

There is much anticipation about what the current Mets can achieve in a quest to add more memorable moments to the team’s recorded achievements. For many fans of the team, a trip to Citi Field is not only a chance to watch a game, but it has also become a more immersive experience in terms of being surrounded by reminders of the franchise’s greatest accomplishments. Plus, the vast array of food selections are a draw to just about anyone. 

The addition of the Seaver statue appears to be the ultimate signature move in the recent efforts to honor the past. It was designed and sculpted by William Behrends, who also crafted the Willie Mays and Tony Gwynn statues in San Francisco and San Diego. The statue is 10 feet high from the granite pitcher’s mound and 13.5 feet in length.

During his glorious career as a New York Met, Seaver seemed to loom just as large as his statue is to opposing batters.
The enduring homage to “Tom Terrific” will now stand forever outside of Citi Field, as Mets fans salute him on their way to witnessing the team’s future inside of the ballpark.   

Featured Image: NY Daily News
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