New York Mets Citi Field Unveils ‘The Franchise’ On Friday
Many New York Mets fans had a tremendous problem when the team's former owners failed to pay homage to the Amazin's franchise when they constructed Citi Field prior to 2009. The atrium is dedicated to Brooklyn Dodger star Jackie Robinson, the seats are New York Giants' Polo Grounds green but there was a bigger problem. Something, rather someone was missing.
You can't tell the story of the New York Mets franchise without the name Tom Seaver. How could you construct a new stadium for the Mets without honoring the greatest player in team history? That problem has been resolved. A statue of "The Franchise" will be unveiled Friday at 10:30 a.m. before the Mets home opener against the Diamondbacks at Citi Field.
According to friend of The Drive with Charlie and Dan, Tim Healey of newsday.com, the statue will be 10 feet tall from the granite pitcher’s mound and 13 1/2 feet long. Apparently the rendition of Seaver will be two times life-size to scale. The statue also features Tom Terrific's famous drop-and-drive delivery and weighs 3,200 pounds, the team announced Monday.
Seaver’s widow and daughters will be in attendance Friday. As will team owners Steve and Alex Cohen, and Hall of Famer Mike Piazza. Prior to selling the team, the Wilpons commissioned William Behrends to create the statue in 2019, after receiving years of pressure from the Mets fanbase to honor the pitcher. The sculptor also created the Willie Mays in San Francisco and the Tony Gwynn in San Diego. Seaver's sculpture will be located outside the front of the ballpark, next to the Home Run Apple.
“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 in the team's statement. Tom Seaver passed away in 2020. He was 75-years old.