Where’s Our Tom Seaver Statue?

Is there anything better than going to your hometown ballpark and seeing all those bronze statues of iconic players or managers who meant so much to the team and more importantly, to the fans?

Back in 2009, during the inaugural season at Citi Field, there was an uproar among the fan base because many of us believed that our new home park was not Metsmerized enough.

Eventually, our pleas led to many changes and additions to Citi Field that better represented our team’s rich history and recognized many of our beloved players and managers.

The Mets Museum also opened a year later and it has been embraced by all fans. Additionally, even the outfield walls would go from a dismal black to a royal blue. Citi Field was beginning to feel like home…

However, the one thing that I’ve always wanted to see was a bronze statue or two that would honor Tom Seaver and Gil Hodges in a similar way that other NL East teams honor their all time greats.

Take a look at some of the gorgeous sculptures you’ll find just in the NL East…

Mike Schmidt at Citizens Bank Park

Steve Carlton at Citizens Bank Park

Robin Roberts at Citizens Bank Park

Josh Gibson at Nationals Park

Walter Johnson at Nationals Park

Frank Howard at Nationals Park

Hank Aaron at Turner Field

Ty Cobb at Turner Field

Phil Niekro at Turner Field

Warren Spahn at Turner Field

Isn’t it sad, that we have no such monumental testaments to any of our own iconic Mets at Citi Field?

Wouldn’t it be a great to park your car in one of the lots at Citi, or get off the 7 Train and onto the walkway, and then be greeted by a beautiful statue of Tom Seaver firing a fastball, Casey Stengel in his rumpled Mets uniform with outstretched arms, or Gil Hodges and that quiet look of his holding a lineup card?

It would be awesome if the Mets owners can make this happen.

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About Joe D 7837 Articles
I'm a lifelong Mets fan who loves writing and talking about the Amazins' 24/7. From the Miracle in 1969 to the magic of 1986, and even the near misses in '73, '00 and '15, I've experienced it all - the highs and the lows. I started Mets Merized Online in 2005 to feed my addiction and interact with other passionate Met fans like you. Follow me on Twitter @metsmerized.
  • Charley’s Twin

    Reason #837 why the Wilpons are the absolute worst.

  • FL Met Fan Rich

    Anything that celebrates thre teams history us a good thing. They needs something to bring fans to the park, because the product on the field isn’t cutting it!

  • john q

    Tom Seaver, definitely, no-brainer really.

    I guess you could put up a Koosman or Gooden Statue as well. Maybe a Strawberry statue, that’s about it until David Wright retires.

    Casey Stengel, Gil Hodges??

    Stengel was an old man who managed a horrible team and acting like a clown as a form of distraction & amusement.

    Gil Hodges won a WS but only managed the Mets for 4 years. One WS, one sub .500 team and two .500 teams. I never understood all the overwhelming love for Gil Hodges. Davy Johnson was the best manager in team history, Bobby Valentine had the second best run and Hodges had the third best run.

    Some of those statues don’t even make much sense.

    For some reason the Nationals think they’re also the Senators.

    Walter Johnson played for The 1rst Senators which is now the Twins so his statue doesn’t make much sense.

    The Frank Howard statue is odd?? He played for the 2nd senators which is now the Rangers so that doesn’t make any sense. And Howard wasn’t even a great enough player to be “statue worthy.”

    Ty Cobb at Turner field is another odd one?? What, because he was born in Georgia?? By that logic the Mets should have a Carl Yastrzemski Statue outside of Citi Field because he was born in New York.

    If anything the Nationals should have statues of Gary Carter, Andre Dawson and Tim Raines much the same way the Braves celebrate Warren Spahn.

    The Braves barely acknowledge the team played in Boston for 75 years so I’m not sure if there is a Kid Nichols statue but their definitely should be.

  • Big Mets Fan

    A Seaver Statue is absolutely needed.

  • RyanF55

    This is such a great point….there is no excuse to not have Tom in that classic knee-in-the-dirt delivery enshrined in Bronze at the stadium. There are plenty of great spots for it also. We do have a bronze statue though, its just of Jackie Robinson, who never played for the team.

  • ColoradoMetsFan

    The fact that they had to be told to honor *their* team’s past, tells you all you need to know…

  • Xavier 22

    Where is the Jackie Robinson statue? I know of the Jackie Robinson rotunda of course and the large blue 42 contained within, but I’ve never seen a JR statue at Citi.

    That said, why there isn’t a statue of The Franchise pitching to Piazza is a crime.

  • CJM

    Meh. Not a big deal imo. Also, from a Mets perspective, Seaver is the ONLY player with his number retired. A statue might be going overboard.

  • Keith’s stache

    We Mets fans ask for too much. We demand bronze statue of great Mets of the past & an upgrade at SS for 2014.

  • Wayne Garrett’s Ghost

    Now you’ve done it. Given the Wilpons an idea. When the bronze Sandy Koufax statue is unveiled, we shall all be looking at you Joe….

  • Oh gosh, you’re right, I never thought about that possibility. 🙂

  • RyanF55

    Now that I thnk about i you’re right….I was thinking there was a statue there. I forgot it was a 42. I always go in the bullpen gate and see the old apple. Regardless, there should be a Seaver statue front and center

  • RyanF55

    haha

  • TexasGusCC

    Why? Every player that has a statue, was a lifer. Seaver had some great years here and some in Cincinnati. Like it or not, we was traded. Jordan in Chicago, Orr in Boston, Musial in St. Louis, or Ripken in Baltimore; these players were lifers. Only Gretzky in Edminton was not, but Gretzky may very well be the best ever in his sport, which Seaver wasn’t. As all Mets fans, I appreciate Seaver, but a statue? I don’t see the need.

  • RyanF55

    That’s a valid point but he’s the Franchise….come on now. He’s in the hall as a Met, he deserves a statue at the stadium:

  • Casey, Tom Terrific and Gil would be beautiful statues to start with. Orosco and Carter embracing after the 86 WS win would also be awesome.

  • Keith’s stache

    not all of them are lifers. Josh Gibson, Walter Johson, Frank Howard never played for the Expos or Nationals. Ty Cobb a Brave?

  • Keith’s stache

    Absolutely Mary,

  • Big Mets Fan

    I love the idea of an Orosco/Carter one, too!

  • LastSaneMetsFan

    Koufax, Robinson, Snider…all the great Dodgers from our past…

  • Metstheory22

    Willie Mays, Willie McCovey, Ken Griffey, Frank Robinson, Hank Aaron, Babe Ruth among others played for other teams besides where they started. They have statues.

  • Would love to see a Seaver statue, and something more commemorative of the ’69 and ’86 Champions…something statute-like. However…I doubt it is cost-effective to do such things. I believe such statutes would concentrate too much of the stadium payroll going forward, and that is not what perennial championship ballparks look like…especially, according with Wilpon-Alderson math.

    Also, it would make too much sense…and therefore, it won’t be happening for a while. Maybe we should start a petition??

  • NoNotTellingYou

    Seriously, at times it looks like the Wilpons think they bought an indoor soccer or professional lacrosse team.

  • ColoradoMetsFan

    Say what you will about George Steinbrenner, but he loved owning the Yankees. He considered it an honor and in his own way was the standard-bearer for the tradition they represent. Doesn’t seem to be in the Wilpons’ playbook…

  • Timmy Tuff

    Would also love to see a statue of Clean Jones catching the last out in the 1969 World Series and Jesse Orosco throwing his glove up in the air after the 1986 World Series.

  • joeythew

    And make sure the statue of Seaver is posed in such a way that we see his iconic right knee dropping down and touching the ground as he fires the ball to the plate.

    In fact your picture accompanying this article would be the perfect Seaver statue.

  • Joey D.

    Hi Joe D.,

    Would be wonderful to have those statues, but knowing the Wilpons they would be placed within the confines of those entrance ways honoring Gil and Seaver and thus be off limits to the average fans who are excluded from using them to enter the ballpark.

    That is what the experience of going to a Met game has become for so many – an insult of too much preferential class treatment

  • metFAN660

    Really? Is preferential class treatment a Wilpon thing, or a Citi Field thing? Or is it a sad fact of life at every single major league sports venue? There are plenty of valid shots to take at the Wilpons, and plenty of really cheap ones, too. This is a cheap shot. And as an aside, what is it that you think you’re missing out on at the Hodges and Seaver gates? Ain’t nothing in there but turnstiles.

  • Joey D.

    Hi MetFAN660,

    Of course there is going to be preferential class treatment for the big spenders – would be naive to think otherwise. That is to be expected everywhere and not limited to the Wilpons. What I said was there being “too much preferential class treatment” and there is a difference.

    I do know that at Shea all entrances from A to E were open to all fans. Except for the Diamond Club and one other alongside gate C, everyone entered the ballpark in the same manner, whether it be a season ticket holder or one sitting in the last row of section 48 in the upper deck.

    So if this is seen as a form of a cheap shot against the Wilpons, please also understand that to deny my wife and I along with so many others use any of the entrances between the outfield and home plate because the price of the ticket is not high enough is considered a cheap shot toward us. What are we missing other than turnstiles?
    For many of us, it’s simply the sign of being looked at with equal respect.

  • metFAN660

    A couple of things, Joey, to hopefully put your mind at ease. Behind the forbidden doors of the Seaver and Hodges gates, there are a pair of elevators. They primarily serve the luxury boxes, but all levels are accessible. So, in fact, they are more democratic than the suite level elevators at Shea, which only served the suite level. It’s a fairly confined space, adjacent to the home and visiting locker rooms, which is pretty much restricted to everyone but employees and players. When there’s a big crowd, the line gets long, and rather than waiting for 2 or 3 runs of the two elevators, many choose to take the stairs. The stairs are not carpeted, or paneled with a burl walnut trim. They are just stairs. Now, you mentioned two entrances at Shea that were limited access…same as Citi Field. Is your issue that the limited access gates are named for Hodges and Seaver, and you feel slighted that the other gates aren’t named for other prominent Mets? This keeps you up at night? There are several other entrances, including the Jackie Robinson Rotunda, which, for my money, is one of the best entrances to a sports venue…anywhere. I know there is too much separation of the classes, but it’s the same thing everywhere. In fact, check out Yankee Stadium some time.

  • JJ

    I agree totally!

  • sarge69

    I say start a petition this year at Citi Field, unless you are found out and escorted out of the stadium for conduct detrimental to the Wilpon brand 🙂

    Why is it that Met fans are always relegated to seeing other teams honor their famous, HOF, players while other teams are the opposite?
    Isn’t this the Big Apple where things are done on a grand scale?

    Great article JoeD.
    Lets see if fans can get some traction with this..

    AND the statue of Seaver should be, as noted here before, his knee hitting the mound during his stretch, classic Seaver drive AND outside so those passing by can take pictures in the winter or those not able to make a game can take a picture with The Franchise!

  • Kabeetz

    The flaw with your logic is that these players played for the Mets, not the Dodgers. Wouldn’t keep with the theme.

  • Joey D.

    Hi MetFAN660,

    Thanks for explaining whats behind those entrances – you see, as one who sat in the upper deck I was unable to find out for myself. It was the issue of the entrances being off limits to the fans in general, not whom they were named after or not and even though I was unaware of it’s limited use, my reaction I think was understandable based on the way the Wilpons have treated the fans.

    A friend of mine who is a Yankee fan but went to Citi that first season said if he didn’t know better he would never had known it was indeed the home of the Mets by the lack of team identification. Such an oversight is not unintentional as neither is the separation of the classes of which i’m glad you recognize as well and which is what I was getting at when reminded how barren Citi Field first was of almost anything resembling Mets. It reinforced how little the Mets mean to the Wilpons outside the realm of business and of their disconnect with the team they own and the fans – well, you can see how it got my juices going again.

    Am sure it’s that way at most all sports arenas, however, my only concern is with the Mets.

  • Joey D.

    Hi MetFAN660 once more,

    Forgot to mention that the one thing I have always done was to give the Wilpons tremendous credit and a touch of complete class on their part for creating the Jackie Robinson Rotunda. More important than it’s magnificence is that there could never have been a more fitting tribute for one so courageous to have endured so much for what was so important.

    As said, for the Wilpons to want to create a lasting tribute to preserve the memory of the man and his legacy they deserve the respect from each and every one of us for that one. That, indeed, came from the heart.

  • metFAN660

    I’m a 400s guy myself, though I’ve had a lot of suite access through my business. Glad you recognize the appropriateness of the Jackie tribute, but I’m going to push back a lot on your characterization of the Wilpons. They have been good owners…maybe even great owners. They may or may not have been successful owners, (personally, I look at ’86 and near misses in ’87 and ’88, ’00, and near misses in ’06, ’07, and ’08 and make the case that there are a lot of teams who have been less competitive over that span), but I see how others might disagree with that. But where have they been dismissive of fans? And don’t say that they’ve been cheap. They’ve spent 1.5 billion on payroll over the last decade, less than the Yankees and maybe the Red Sox and Dodgers, but nobody can honestly say they haven’t spent their money to try to win. You mention the lack of Mets identification in CF when it opened. Ok, agreed…but when you moved into your house, the walls weren’t decorated with your artwork, right? CF is an incredible place to watch a ball game, right? The Mets HOF is a beautiful and expansive tribute to our team, right? Do you really want to hold it against them that they wanted to make sure all the plumbing worked before they started decorating? I Mean, they were working on it right up to Opening Day! Fans howled that the wall was painted a color called “soot.” I thought it was classy, but fans howled that it should be royal blue, (although real fans might recall that Shea’s wall was originally green). They changed it. There were some seats with obstructed views, (as there are in all modern baseball parks), so they added a bunch of video boards. Look at other team owners in the area…Woody Johnson didn’t get his stadium in Manhattan so he permanently moved the team to Jersey…even moving the practice facility from Hofstra. You want a Jim Dolan? I don’t know, it seems to me there’s a lot of resentment towards the Wilpons that’s unwarranted. But help me out…tell me where they’ve been dismissive of fans, and why you think they’re so awful.

  • alan friedman

    I have been screaming about the absurdity of not having a statue of Tom Seaver erected at Citi Field since day one when Fred’s Folly opened. The Wilpon’s when designing the ballpark showed little appreciation for the history of this team and the fans.who from April of 1962 put this team on the map!

    The Jackie Robinson Rotunda is a wonderful tribute to a great man in baseball history but he was a Dodger. The exterior of the Ebbets Field main entrance is a nice touch too but until Fred and Jeff start thinking that the fans want to see a statue or two of our great players…..I will never feel right about the new stadium!

  • Joey D.

    Hi metFAN660,

    We sat on the outer edge of the infield dirt (section 525 I believe) behind third yet could not see most anything of left field past the commemorative Shea ball on the wall. Had the left fielder run about ten or fifteen feet toward his right on a straight line, we would have lost sight of him. It was not just losing sight of plays in the corner – about one third of left field was sliced off from view. So this is resentful.

    Dave Howard said that is the way it is in all new ball parks. Well, that is not the way it is down the right field line at Citi Field. And, if one looks at the way other new stadiums are constructed, the seats do not begin to angle in so close to the infield to create such a poor line of sight -the seats are either further back when that jutting in begins or the facade remains further parallel with the foul line. So cut off views other than the corners is not the norm at all (friends who have sat in other ball parks told me they have not encountered such problem as well).

    I do notice that the Aceda restaurant is angled in more toward the playing field thanks and it appears the engineering configuration as mentioned above may be required in order to accomplish that. Thus, 1/3 of left field for those in upper deck might have been sacrificed for a more comfortable view for those eating in the restaurant. If that is the case, it only adds to the resentment. If it not the case, it still doesn’t excuse the blocked view and the need to see the action on a large HD monitor in right field – for that, one could stay home.

    I’ve been getting a good natured ribbing by some because I’ve harped about there being no escalator going to the upper promonade in left field (it stops at the lower level) but for fans like my wife who had two knee operations and finds it difficult to walk up ramps and steps – that is definitely a point of inconsideration, especially in a public stadium.

    So that is why my wife and I did not really enjoy our experience at Citi Field. It was fueled even more so our second time when we were given tickets for the 2011 home opener in the Champions section.
    That was a great experience and we didn’t think it was so wrong – considering the money one had to shell out for such luxury – but when looking at those in the upper deck and realizing they were unable to see the end part of a first inning fly that appeared headed out but caught at the wall by Willie Harris, that is when the resentment came back to me.

    Too much concentration on the expensive restaurants, the shopping areas and food mart and less concern with the important things that affect those in the “cheap” seats. That’s my gripe and that’s what made me jump to conclusions about those entrances – which I will admit I was wrong with but it’s understandable why I came to that initial reaction.

  • metFAN660

    Joey, you’ve got some legitimate gripes, but none of them make the Wilpons bad owners. A lot of the viewing issues are not the result of where the restaurant is, but it’s that the ballpark was designed to have all the seating as close to the field as possible. There is less foul territory at CF than any other ML stadium. The seats are closer to the field, and unfortunately for some this means some obstructed views. I will point out that there are some pretty neat video boards that are in place so that nobody has to miss any of the action. Not perfect, but not exactly terrible. I also get your beef with the escalators, but there are also several elevator banks that stop on all levels, (including some that are reserved for people with disabilities. The bottom line is that no ballpark is perfect. There are some seats in Yankee Stadium that are absolutely terrible. But let’s be honest, none of these issues make the Wilpons bad owners. Do you think they sat around and thought about how they could build a stadium that their fans would be unhappy with? And while we’re being honest, won’t most of these issues go away when the team starts playing better baseball?

  • Joey D.

    Hi MetFAN660,

    “Some obstructed views?” I was sitting right by the outer edge of the infield dirt and if I could not see the portion of the fence to the left of the Shea ball it means even some sitting closer toward the infield to my right were obstructed as well. That’s not just “some” obstructed views – that’s everyone in the upper promenade sitting in line with third base all the way down to the end. And as mentioned, that would not be the case had the stands run just parallel with the foul line further out. And that day I met an old friend from high school who came over to say hello (after 41 years!) and said there was no obstructed view where he was sitting further out in right.

    A few days after Citi Field first opened with those exhibition games against the Red Sox, outraged fans were calling up FAN disgusted that they couldn’t even see the left fielder at all.
    As mentioned, Dave Howard eventually had to come on Francesa’s show to respond to the fan’s outrage. It is all well intentioned wanting to build a park in which one can be closer to the action but not at the point where the view is sacrificed.

    But this a point I’m surprised I did not bring up – the Wilpons built a smaller stadium and concluded they could make more money with less fans by charging them more. By doing this they made it very difficult for lots of families to afford to go to a ball game maybe more than once a year. That is why attendance dropped so much – the cost of the ticket, the added on fees, concessions, etc. became too expensive and many a fan expressed that.

    They let their reach exceed their grasp. No, it was not a case of building a stadium they thought their fans would be unhappy with, but it was a case of being out of touch with what is necessary for the average fan to be happy with and that disconnect shows in so many ways.

    “Bad” does not make a person “evil” and I did not call Fred or Jeff anything like that. But “inconsiderate”, “thoughtless” and “indifference” toward the average working class fan to which CitiField actually created an atmosphere of class distinction, that I most certainly did mean to say.

    Again, doesn’t make them “bad” owners, just as I described them above.

  • metFAN660

    Joey, once again, these are issues with every new ballpark. Fewer seats, higher ticket prices, some obstructed views. Of course, on a positive note, none of the seats have obstructed views of the plate, and with the pitching staff we’ll soon be putting out there, that’s where most of the action will be. It’s sad that families aren’t able to go more. But those are the economics of baseball now. Everyone wants their teams to spend insane money to bring players in. Where do you think the money comes from? And come on, the lack of ticket sales has a lot to do with performance…not just economics. My guess is that when this team starts to win, you’ll be back there going nuts, and not too concerned that you might have to watch part of a play or two on the big screen. Here’s hoping that day comes soon!

  • Joey D.

    Hi MetFAN660,

    Again, those are not just “some” obstructed views but the entire outfield upper promenade in left field along with some portion of the infield promenade by third base so it’s best not to underplay the amount of fans being affected.

    Though the Mets saw a 600,000 drop in attendance in 2010, unlike 2009, they were battling Atlanta for the division lead through the first half of the season. But even when they were winning, attendance was already seriously behind the pace of the previous season. With the excitement of a team that at one point was eleven games over .500
    fans were not coming in droves to see the team because they could not afford the high price of going to a game. When I went it was an early July game on a Saturday afternoon against Atlanta. The paid attendance was 34,000 for a showdown against our hated division rivals. Just 34,000?

    In 2011 and 2012 we were again playing well through the all-star break and despite ticket prices being slashed, those added “convenience” costs (which all teams have, not just the Mets, but in 2011 the Mets had the second highest “convenience” charges of all 30 MLB teams) still made the cost of going to a game very high (in 2011 it was determined the overall cost of going to a Met game was the fifth most expensive of all 30 teams).

    If one surfs the web, one will find news stories about fans saying the cost of going to Citi Field was too high for them to go as often as they used to. Yes, it’s the same with the Yankees – in fact, many who live by the Stadium don’t have the money to go inside it much at all.

  • metFAN660

    Again, not trying to minimize anything. Just pointing out that none of these issues are exclusive to the Mets or their owners. If you want to say that baseball is a mess because they’re pricing their fans out of the parks, fine. But it’s not just the Mets or the Wilpons.

  • Joey D.

    Hi metFAN660,

    Of course it’s all over sports – owners and players alike.

    But this is about the Mets and even at Shea the ticket prices were getting out of hand and that was acceptable – in fact, at that time I had no thoughts about the Wilpons other than that wanted the Mets to win and were willing to spend whatever they could to accomplish that. I had no problem or disputes with them at all.

    It was only when Citi Field opened that I saw another side of them.
    If it was just the ticket prices, it would have been shrugged off as just being sports and would have not made them appear any different from the rest of the owners. Let’s be honest, my wife and I would not go broke going to a game, it’s just that we can think of more ways to have a nice evening and not costing us anything near that figure.

    But more concentration on the wide open shopping areas than a full view of the playing field for such a large segment of the fans – plus that escalator (which if I was younger I probably wouldn’t have cared about, either, I will admit that) – that is where I do draw the line not on them being “bad” but as I said “indifferent”.