NEW YORK (KGPE) – Friday is Jackie Robinson Day.
April 15th, 1947 is the day Jackie Robinson made his Major League debut and so every year on April 15th, players, managers and umpires all wear No. 42.
However, at the home of the New York Mets, Friday was about No. 42 and about No. 41: Tom Seaver.
“When I was a kid and I thought of the Mets, I thought of Tom Seaver,” said Mets owner Steve Cohen,” minutes before the team unveiled a statue of Tom Seaver outside of Citi Field ahead of the Mets’ home opener against Arizona.
The Seaver statue was supposed to be unveiled last year, but the pandemic put the sculptor behind schedule. The statue is ten feet high, 13 1/2 feet long and it weighs 3,200 pounds.
“I can still see the wind-up, his knee dragging in the dirt, the ball exploding out of his hand,” smiled Cohen. “And the stunned look on the face of each batter he struck out. Tom led us to our first championship. He transformed the Mets, transfixed New York and won the hearts of Mets fans. Tom Seaver was a great pitcher, an even greater man.”
Tom Seaver is considered the greatest Met of all time.
He won 311 games and three National League Cy Young Awards with the Mets, in addition to leading them to a World Series in 1969.
Seaver, who was inducted into the National Baseball Hall of Fame in 1992, is from Fresno. He attended Fresno High School and Fresno City College.
Tom Seaver is no longer with us; he passed away on August 31st, 2020.