Sunday, November 27, 2022

Larger than life: Mets unveil sewer statue at Citi Field

NEW YORK ( Associated Press) — The franchise is finally on display outside Citi Field.

A long-awaited statue of pitcher Tom Seaver was unveiled by the New York Mets on Friday in a 40-minute ceremony that began about 2 1/2 hours before their home opener against Arizona.

With thousands of fans gathering around, cell phones held high and their necks to watch, the late Hall of Famer’s wife and two daughters were front and center for the celebration.

After introductions from speeches by longtime Mets radio announcer Howie Rose and owner Steve Cohen and former slugger Mike Piazza, the blue curtain was pulled to reveal a striking monument that stands 10 feet tall and 13 1/2 feet tall. It depicts his classic drop-and-drive delivery to Sewer, in the middle of a baseball in his right hand.

“Hello, Tom,” said his emotional widow, Nancy, choking back tears. “It’s great to have you here where you are.”

The sculpture by William Behrends – who also designed and built the sculptures for Willie Mays in San Francisco and Tony Gwyn in San Diego – weighs 3,200 pounds (2,000 pounds of bronze and 1,200 pounds of structural stainless steel). The granite pitcher mound came in nine pieces, weighing 33,600 pounds and measuring about 3 feet in height.

“Tom Seaver is our royalty,” said Piazza.

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The statue was placed next to the Mets’ popular home run apple from the old Shea Stadium in front of the Jackie Robinson Rotunda that serves as the main entrance to Citi Field. Fans streaming from the elevated No. 7 subway train are now greeted by the Sewer Memorial, right next to their descending steps.

“When I was a kid, when I thought of the Mets, I thought of Tom Seaver,” said Cohen, who was already a longtime fan before he bought the club. “He changed the Mets, changed New York and won the hearts of Mets fans.”

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