41 Tom Seaver Way
It might seem odd that someone like me would try to deny the existence of a miracle. But, there’s a first time for everything, and I’m here to tell you that the 1969 Mets were no miracle.
Surprising? Perhaps. Amazing? No question.
But a team that included Cleon Jones and Tommie Agee, Art Shamsky and Ron Swoboda, Ed Kranepool and Donn Clendenon, Buddy Harrelson, Ken Boswell, Ed Charles, Wayne Garrett, and Jerry Grote, plus a pitching staff of Jerry Koosman, Gar Gentry, Nolan Ryan, Tug McGraw, Don Cardwell, with Gil Hodges – who, let’s face it, belongs in Cooperstown – as manager, could hardly be considered a “miracle” for winning the World Series.
But as great as that team was, there was one man who symbolized the Amazin’s, who became the face of a team that wanted no part of being “lovable losers,” and, without question, remains the pride of the Mets: Tom Seaver. As the Mets celebrate the 50th Anniversary of that 1969 championship season, certain moments stand out: the catches by Agee and Swoboda in the World Series, Al Weiss’ home run, the “black cat” game against the Cubs.
Rising above those great memories, though, are our memories of Seaver. His “imperfect game,” the 25-7 record and the first of his three Cy Young Awards (and it should have been four, if not five), the 2-1 ten-inning gem in game four against the Orioles. Tom’s greatness as a pitcher extended for 20 seasons and 311 wins, nine consecutive seasons of 200 or more strikeouts – still a record – and election into Cooperstown with what was then the highest percentage of votes of all time.
No wonder, then, we are here today to celebrate the formal change of the address of Citi Field to 41 Tom Seaver Way.
Might we take a moment in prayer?
We ask your blessing upon this place, and upon the man, Tom Seaver, that we honor today. We ask for your assistance for all those who work here, the owners and executives, concession workers and ticket takers, administration, maintenance workers, and grounds keepers. We pray for the athletes who will compete here – especially the New York Mets – and the fans who will cheer them on. In a special way, we pray for Tom Seaver in his current health challenges, for his family and loved ones, and for all those who struggle each day with illness or infirmity. Watch over them, dear Lord, and give them your peace.
With thanks for your goodness and the many gifts you have bestowed on us, we pray…