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The Tom Seaver statue built in front of Citi Field to honor the New York Mets legend apparently has a small mistake.
New York had the sculpture erected following Seaver’s death in 2020. According to Uni Watch, the No. 4 digit in Seaver’s No. 41 on the back of the statue is incorrect. The website, which focuses on uniforms in sports, noted that the font for the No. 4 is different than the font on the uniform Seaver wore while playing for the Mets.
William Behrends, the sculptor of Seaver’s statue, told Uni Watch he was “shocked” by what happened.
“I went back and looked at my original clay model to see if the number mistake had happened in the foundry. But no – the clay model has it that way too. It’s not like me to miss something like that, but that’s what happened. It’s something I missed,” Behrends told the website.
“That clay model, I worked on that for about 10 and a half months. I laid out the torso, laid out the uniform, and blocked in the letters. At an early stage, I know I had that little stub on the ‘4.’ But during the process of adjusting the model, you take things off and rebuild them elsewhere. So those numbers were probably built and rebuilt five or six times in the process. And in the later part of the process, I clearly was not thinking about the number – I was thinking about other things, and I just missed it. It’s embarrassing.”
For what it’s worth, the fonts on the front of the statue were seemingly correct.
The statue was unveiled on April 15. Team owner Steve Cohen, announcer Howie Rose, legendary catcher Mike Piazza and Seaver’s widow Nancy were all in attendance.
“When I was a kid, when I thought of the Mets, I thought of Tom Seaver,” Cohen said during the ceremony. “He transformed the Mets, transfixed New York and won the hearts of Mets fans.”
Seaver passed away in September 2020 due to complications of Lewy body dementia and COVID-19, according to the National Baseball of Hall of Fame.
The pitcher, who earned the nickname “Tom Terrific” during a 20-year career that saw him win 311 games and three Cy Young awards, was 75.
Seaver, regarded as the greatest Mets player of all time, had a 2.86 earned-run average and struck out 3,640 batters over a career that spanned from 1967 to 1986. He earned 12 All-Star selections, led the National League in wins and ERA three times apiece and strikeouts five times. Elected into the National Baseball Hall of Fame in 1992, Seaver was on 98.8% of ballots, which was the highest voting percentage ever received at the time.
He was taken by the Mets in a special draft lottery in 1966 after serving in the U.S. Marine Corps. In 1967, he earned the National League Rookie of the Year Award. Two years later, Seaver led the “Miracle Mets” to their first World Series title in only their eighth year of existence.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.