Legendary MLB pitcher Tom Seaver has been diagnosed with dementia, and it’s being reported that the team he is most associated with, the New York Mets, may unveil a statue of the baseball hero later this year.
Per his family’s request, the National Baseball Hall of Fame shared news about the 74-year-old’s medical condition on Thursday, March 7. Seaver’s relatives stated that he is retiring from public life, but will continue to work in his “beloved vineyard at his California home.”
“The family is deeply appreciative of those who have supported Tom throughout his career, on and off the field, and who do so now by honoring his request for privacy,” the National Baseball Hall of Fame’s statement read, in part.
The right-handed pitcher, known as “Tom Terrific,” helped the Miracle Mets win their first World Series title in 1969. This year marks the 50th anniversary of the team’s big win, and there are several scheduled events at Citi Field in Flushing, New York, to celebrate the historic event.
Mets COO Jeff Wilpon said in a statement that they “are planning to honor him in special ways and have included his family in [their] plans,” according to SNY. However, he did not go into further detail.
But on Friday, March 8, sports radio personality Mike Francesca revealed — on his WFAN talk show — that the Mets will be unveiling a statue of Seaver sometime during the 2019 baseball season.
“You Met fans will get your wish. There will be a Seaver statue sometime this summer,” he said, adding that the tribute has “been in the works for quite some time” and had nothing to do with his newly-revealed health issues.
WFAN said that Mets fans have been calling for a Seaver statue ever since the team’s stadium, Citi Field, opened up in 2009.
The New York Post noted that other MLB teams have multiple statues honoring their top players. In fact, the Mets’ crosstown rivals, the New York Yankees, commemorate “37 of that team’s greats in Monument Park” at Yankee Stadium.
Reportedly, what has yet to been determined is whether the Seaver statue will be erected inside or outside of the ballpark.
Seaver played for the MLB for 20 seasons, from 1967 to 1986. In addition to the Mets, who he was with from 1967 to 1977 and again in 1983, he also pitched for the Cincinnati Reds, Chicago White Sox, and Boston Red Sox. He won three Cy Young awards with New York (1969, 1973, and 1975), and had his jersey number, 41, retired by the team in 1988. In 1992, Seaver was elected into the National Baseball Hall of Fame with 98.8 percent of the vote.