The New York Mets plan on unveiling a larger than life statue of one the greatest pitchers to ever put on a Mets uniform in the franchise's history this coming April 15th, 2022 in their home opener versus the Arizona Diamondbacks. Tom "Terrific" Seaver will finally be honored properly in yet another smart move by this new Mets ownership regime, which plans on showing all the Mets faithful the 13.5 foot bronze and steel statue they recently built right next to the Home Run Apple outside the front of Citi Field.
This unveiling will be set to take place at 10:30 AM eastern time this Friday before the team's home opener. William Behrends Sculpture Inc. was hired to create the larger than life like statue of "The Franchise" and will portray an image of Seaver during his signature wind up, drop and stretch delivery. The statue is reported to weigh close to 1.5 tons and will be located in front of the rotunda near the Citi Field main entrance.
Tom Seaver is unanimously considered to be the greatest Mets pitcher of all time and is easily one of the top 10 greatest starting pitchers in MLB history.
Seaver spent twelve seasons pitching for the New York Mets and twenty years total pitching during his illustrious baseball career. With the Mets, Seaver had a top notch ERA of 2.57 and led the National League in ERA and in total wins in three of those seasons. In nine straight seasons, from 1968 to 1976 he also struck out more than 200 batters per season with the Mets and accumulated three Cy Young awards in the process.
Usually when you hear baseball historians talk about some of the greatest starting pitchers in the history of the game you will hear about great players like Greg Maddux, Sandy Koufax, Bob Gibson, Clayton Kershaw or Randy Johnson. But one could argue that Tom Seaver had a better overall career than almost all of them.
Seaver won three Cy Young awards in his career, the same amount as Koufax and Clayton Kershaw did and one more than Bob Gibson, but you could argue that he should have won at least two more for the stellar seasons he put up in 1971 and then in 1977. Outside of Steve Carlton and Bob Gibson, Seaver also threw the third most complete games of any pitcher in the last 65 years.
He also had more career strikeouts than Pedro Martinez, Clayton Kershaw, Sandy Koufax or Bob Gibson with 3640.
Even more impressive is the fact that the Mets finished dead last in their division in five of their first seven years as a franchise and were consistently considered one of the worst teams in MLB before Tom Seaver was called up in 1967. But within three years of being in the Mets starting rotation, Seaver led the Amazins to a World Series title, demonstrating how great an impact he truly made. He finished his career with a WAR of 110 as well. That is a higher career WAR than Greg Maddux, Randy Johnson, Sandy Koufax and Clayton Kershaw.
"The Franchise", as he is commonly known as, won't be around to celebrate this historic and long overdue unveiling unfortunately. Seaver passed away back in late 2020 due to complications from a specific type of dementia and from covid-19. His widowed wife Nancy and his two daughters Sarah and Anne will be in attendance however, along with Mets catching legend Mike Piazza and Mets owners Steve and Alex Cohen.
Throughout his 20 year baseball career, Seaver was constantly respected and admired by all his teammates, his peers, the baseball writers and the coaches alike. When it came time to vote him into the baseball Hall of Fame in 1992, he got in with 98.8% of the votes needed -one of the highest marks ever by a player up for induction. Why it's taken the Mets over 30 years to finally honor this legend in a manner fitting to his accomplishments we will never know. But it will be definitely reassuring to know that us fans won't forget him or his legacy every time we attend a game at Citi Field from this point forward.