The franchise has its lasting tribute to The Franchise.
The New York Mets unveiled the statue honoring Tom Seaver on Friday ahead of their home opener against the Arizona Diamondbacks at Citi Field.
Among those on hand for the festivities were former NJ Gov. and long-time Mets fan Chris Christie.
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Seaver was diagnosed with dementia in 2019 and passed away in 2020 at the age of 75.
Mets owners Steve and Alex Cohen were in attendance, along with Tom’s widow, Nancy, their two daughters, Sarah and Anne, and Hall-of-Fame catcher Mike Piazza. The statue is located to the right of the Home Run Apple in front of Citi Field.
“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, and to see William Behrends’ vision come to fruition is so exciting and very touching. We are thrilled to share this with all the fans who supported Dad throughout his career. ”
“There is a reason he was called ‘The Franchise’,” said Mets Chairman, CEO and owner Steve Cohen, “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.”
Sculptor William Behrends, who designed and sculpted a Willie Mays statue outside Oracle Park in San Francisco, Tony Gwynn’s monument outside at PETCO Park in San Diego and for over the last 30 years sculpted faces onto the Borg-Warner Trophy for winners of the Indianapolis 500 , was commissioned for the Seaver statue.
“Tom Seaver’s larger than life presence on the mound and his dynamic pitching delivery were both a challenge and a rich inspiration to me as a sculptor,” said Behrends. “I am most grateful to the Seaver family for being so generous with their time in sharing stories of him and insights into the extraordinary man he was.”
The statue of Tom Seaver features his iconic drop and drive delivery and is two times life-size to scale. The statue is 10 feet high from the granite pitcher’s mound and 13 ½ feet in length. The total weight of the statue is 3,200 pounds (2,000 pounds of bronze and 1,200 pounds of structural stainless steel). The granite mound came in nine separate pieces that weighed 33,600 pounds and added approximately three feet in height.
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Tom Terrific was exactly that, finishing his legendary career with 311 wins, 3,640 strikeouts, 12 All-Star selections and a 2.86 ERA. He was the 1967 National League Rookie of the Year and finished in the top 10 of the National League Cy Young Award voting 10 times. Seaver had five top-10 finishes in National League MVP voting, finishing second to future Hall of Famer Willie McCovey in 1969, when he won a career-high 25 games to lead the Mets to their first World Series title in franchise history.
In 12 years with the Mets, he has won 198 games and three National League Cy Young Awards.
The right-hander was a first-ballot Hall of Famer in 1992. He was left off just five ballots and went in with 98.8% of the vote, a record which stood until Ken Griffey, Jr. was left off three ballots and went in with 99.3% of the vote in 2016.
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Mike Rosenstein may be reached at [email protected].
George is Digismak’s reported cum editor with 13 years of experience in Journalism