Former Mets Ed Kranepool, Ron Swoboda and Art Shamsky on Tom Seaver statue: ‘What took so long?’

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NEW YORK – Mets legend Tom Seaver will be remembered in an incredible way.

The Mets will unveil a statue of the iconic pitcher outside of Citi Field in a ceremony ahead of the team’s home opener on Friday.

As CBS2’s Steve Overmyer reported, the statue will stand 10 feet tall and show Seaver in his signature pitching motion.

“Well, I think it was too late. After he retired, they should have had one up there, because he was ‘The Franchise.’ I mean he was the best player we had,” said Ed Kranepool, who played with Seaver.

“I had the same reaction. When you finally heard about Tom Seaver Way and a statue to follow, my reaction was, ‘What took so long?'” Ron said. Swoboda, another Seaver teammate.

Seaver died in 2020, the same year the Mets commissioned the statue. It was called “The Franchise” for a reason. His impact on the Mets was enormous.

“He was a performer on the mound. He was able to make hitters work and he pitched against some of the greatest players in football history,” teammate Art Shamsky said.

“He didn’t want you having fun on the field and of course that changed the culture of the Mets. He was a great player and we were lucky to have him all 4 days,” Kranepool said.

Fifty-three years later, the 1969 Miracle Mets are still baseball’s greatest story. Their transformation from lovable losers to World Series champions began when Seaver joined the Mets in 1967.

“There was no break-in period for Tom. He came out of the box as a Hall of Fame-quality serious pitcher, and all that was missing was the stats, which he got quickly,” said said Swoboda.

When Seaver retired, no one had any more strikeouts or Cy Young awards.

“Tom Seaver in his delivery was iconic in the way, his movement was quite intricate,” Swoboda said.

Seaver’s knees, drops and drives were his trademark.

“It’s good that it’s finally been done. You could say it should have been done years ago, but I’m glad everyone appreciates it,” Kranepool said.

The ceremony begins at 10:30 a.m. Friday next to Home Run Apple outside Citi Field. The first pitch of the Mets’ home opener against Arizona is scheduled for 1:10 p.m.

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