Jul 23, 2016

Remembering Mets History: (1988) Mets Retire Tom Seaver's #41

Sunday July 24th 1988: Tom Seaver Day- 46,056 fans came out to Shea Stadium as the Mets officially retired Tom Seaver's #41 & inducted him into the teams Hall of Fame.

All the fans got a white cap with the circled #41 on it, with the words "Tom Seaver Day1988" written around it. They were also given a Tom Seaver painted poster artist by Don Mass.

Some of Tom's old team mates were on hand for the celebration. Seaver's main catcher; Jerry Grote, his pitching coach Rube Walker, his roommate short stop Bud Harrelson, former pitcher Jerry Koosman, team mate & friend Rusty Staub, as well as longtime Mets trainer Tom McKenna, were all in attendance. 

Tom & his wife Nancy came out from center field waving to the crowd in a convertible car circling the field. They were met on the field by their daughters & other family members, including Tom's father. 

The opening MC for the on field ceremonies was Mets' broadcaster Bob Murphy, donning a green jacket, white slacks & white shoes. Murph read a letter sent from the President of the United States; Ronald Regan honoring Seaver.

Murphy then introduced Ralph Kiner who took on the next segment of the honors. Speeches were made by long time Mets beat writer; Jack Lang, Tom's former room mate Bud Harrelson & head of the Mets Hall of Fame Committee; Arthur Richman. 1988 Team Captain; Keith Hernandez made a short speech & the brought out the current Mets team mates Gary Carter & Lee Mazzilli, presenting Seaver & his wife with a case of fine wine.

Mets GM; Frank Cashen gave out gifts to the Seaver family & officially made the announcement of retiring Tom's #41. It is the only number retired by the Mets for a team player. Managers; Gil Hodges & Casey Stengel both have their numbers retired. 

Quotes: Tom Seaver told the crowd: "I don't know about you but I think 41 looks great out on that wall."

Seaver's speech included a tribute to his old manager Gil Hodges, telling the fans how proud he was to have his number retired besides Hodges'. Tom ran to the mound & took bows from all angles as his very own thank you to eall the Mets fans through the years.

Unfortunately that day, in the game following the Seaver ceremonies, Davey Johnson's first place Mets (58-39) lost a 4-2 game to Russ Nixon's last place Atlanta Braves (34-62).

No comments: