The statue of Tom Severus is 10 feet high. Just like Severus.

A statue of Tom Severus finally made its City Field debut on Friday, hours before the Mets’ home opened in 2022 and years after it may have been built.

The statue depicts Severus – who more than 50 years ago turned the Mets from a laughing stock into world champions – in his famous home delivery of running and driving. It was a tilting motion, so strong that his back knee sometimes scraped the mound, producing stains on his uniform, proving another resolute performance of the best player in Mets history.

The statue, designed by sculptor William Berends, is made of bronze and stainless steel. He is 10 feet tall, weighs 3,200 pounds and at first glance on Friday was almost startling to watch. I will now welcome the fans arriving at the main entrance of the stadium, some of whom were old enough to see the pitch of the North, and many of them did not. And at least a few of the two groups can look at the statue with gratitude and wonder if all this could have been done a while ago when Seaver was still alive and in relatively good health.

It seems that this issue didn’t really matter at Friday’s late morning ceremony, which attracted a significant outpouring of cheerful Mets fans, happy that the sun was shining, happy to see the statue for the first time, also happy that the Mets started with 5- 2 this season. They later made it 6-2 with the defeat of Arizona.

They applauded when the injured Jacob de Grom, perhaps the Mets ‘best pitcher since Severus, showed up with the Mets’ baseball pants and sweatshirt and sat in the front row to pick it all up. They were ridiculed when Queens President Donovan Richards went on for too long, applauding when Mike Piazza spoke and more or less applauding when Stephen Cohen, who took over the Mets a year and a half ago, stood up to speak.

And when Nancy Severe, sometimes in a wheelchair, strayed from the script while talking about her late husband and ended with “Bless Everyone,” the crowd chanted her name. It was such a ceremony.

The statue of Severus will undoubtedly become a meeting place before the game for fans, a role that until now was more or less falling on the old Home Run Apple. This should lead to a good upgrade.

In fact, in recent decades, many teams have erected statues outside their stadiums as a way to honor their famous players (and even some favorite TV operators). But the Mets’ previous owners, the Wilpons, chose not to do so, although congratulating Sevres that way seemed easy enough.

Things changed in June 2019, when the Wilpons announced that a statue of Seaver was being ordered and that Citi Field’s address would be changed to 41 Seaver Way. Just months earlier, Seaver’s family had revealed that he was suffering from dementia and was withdrawing from public life. He died in late August 2020, his death attributed to both coronavirus and dementia, and it was hard to ignore that the statue was not yet complete.

It was scheduled to be unveiled last summer, but the pandemic slowed things down. And it was postponed again when the start of the 2022 season was postponed by the recent labor opposition.

The fact that the ceremony took place on April 15 – Jackie Robinson’s Day, when baseball annually honors Robinson’s first game in the major leagues – was a pleasant touch, as if by chance. As it is, the statue of Severus is near the rotunda of Citi Field, which is decorated with great homage to Robinson. So the hero of Queens, number 41, will be away from the screaming hero from Brooklyn, who wore the famous number 42.

The Mets will also soon retire number 17, worn by Keith Hernandez at a ceremony scheduled for this summer. He was the leader of the Mets’ champion team in 1986 and, for some, the best player the Mets had since Sevres. As with the statue of Severus, it probably took too long to honor Hernandez. As with the statue of Severus, the decision to withdraw from circulation № 17 was actually made by the Wilpons, as was the decision to withdraw № 36, carried by Jerry Kusman, Severus’ left hand, last August.

In each of these cases, it is better late than never. If the Wilpones could do it again, maybe they would act faster. But that, of course, is not the way things work. Instead, you correct yourself when you can, and keep appearing.

That’s what Fred Wilpen, now 85, did on Friday. The former main owner of the team sat in the second row during the consecration of the statue and slowed down afterwards. Asked if he wanted the statue to be unveiled years ago, he considered the question and replied: “I’m just glad it’s done now. It was a beautiful ceremony. “

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