New York Mets: What do the Wilpons have against statues?
By Tim Boyle
A statue of Tom Seaver is the next logical step for the New York Mets. Unfortunately, the ownership has yet to commit to the long-overdue project. What did statues ever do to them?
For many years, New York Mets fans have wanted a statue in honor of the great Tom Seaver. There are other demands on the list, but a statue feels like the easiest one to award the fans with. It wouldn’t cost $300 million and the Wilpons wouldn’t have to sell the team.
Upon the recent news of Seaver’s dementia diagnosis, it seemed the statue was finally happening. Unfortunately, only days later, the statue went from what felt like a sure-thing to a consideration. Not only that, it’s something that has allegedly been in their plans for years. When facts changes this fast, you have to worry.
What do the Wilpons have against statues, anyway? I understand some can be creepy. But this is one of Seaver. There’s nothing scary about him unless you’re in the batter’s box in the 1970s and he’s on the mound.
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Way back in 1994, when I was a bit more impressionable and believed in nonsense like monsters and people were inherently good, there was a movie called Heavenly Creatures that hit theaters. It was an early film by Peter Jackson and the first where Kate Winslet made an appearance. Back then, I didn’t pay attention to facts like those about movies. For this particular film, I couldn’t get beyond the trailer which featured a scene with statues dancing.
It freaked me out!
I’m doubtful either of the Wilpons had the same experience as I did. In 1994, they were already old men. So, why do they hate statues this much? What’s their delay in making the obvious happen?
I suppose the switch from “it’ll happen” to “a consideration” could have something to do with the new Mets philosophy this year of not giving timetables. We have no idea when Todd Frazier or Jed Lowrie will be ready to play. Maybe they want to play it safe with the Seaver statue, too.
Not all statues or busts turn out well. So, I understand not wanting to set deadlines. Remember, the infamous bust of soccer star Ronaldo? One of the world’s most handsome men ended up looking like Jared Leto’s version of The Joker.
There’s already a statue in Cleveland honoring Jim Thome. Teams should never wait this long to go all-out and pay tribute to their greats. The Mets need to guarantee a Seaver statue is happening if only to put their own heads in the guillotine to ensure it gets completed at some point.
Mets fans aren’t going to forget about this. The Wilpons can’t make the excuse of “I don’t know how many teams have statues of players outside of their ballparks.”
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Even though plenty will scream and holler that the statue is now being built with some insincerity, it’s a decision the ownership needs to be held accountable for. Don’t set a date for its reveal, but set a promise that in the next year, Citi Field will finally have the one biggest piece missing from the grounds: a tribute to Tom Seaver.