Larger than life
At the halfway mark of what has been a disappointing season, no one can blame New York Mets fans who pine for the days of playoff runs and World Series wins and celebrating the 1969 Amazin’s.
On Thursday, the Mets unveiled New York City’s renaming of 126th Street, alongside Citi Field, as Seaver Way. Hall of Fame pitcher Tom Seaver is the most revered Met in history and is otherwise known as “The Franchise.”
Even the ballpark itself changed its address -- now 41 Seaver Way. (Seaver’s number was 41.)
Thursday’s reveal was paired with an announcement that the Mets plan to add an eight-foot statue of "Tom Terrific" in front of Citi Field near the Home Run Apple. It comes as the Mets prepare to honor the ’69 team this weekend, though Seaver himself is unable to attend because he suffers from dementia.
It’s also no surprise that, as with everything Mets, the street renaming isn’t without controversy. Willets Point United, a group of property and business owners in the Iron Triangle area across the street from Citi Field, decried the name change in a statement on Wednesday. The group lamented that the City Council didn’t hold hearings on the decision, and called it “redundant and unnecessary.”
“A public hearing held with good advance notice might draw contemporary residents of Flushing and Corona, who may prefer honoring individuals other than Seaver, a Caucasian sports figure whose Queens career ended 36 years ago,” the Willets Point United statement said.
Good grief, as fellow pitcher Charlie Brown might say. Perhaps the group didn’t know that the Citi Field rotunda is named after another baseball great, Jackie Robinson?
The group even criticized the decision to pave 126th Street before Thursday’s ceremony, noting that other streets in Willets Point remain unpaved. Of course, those streets might just be repaved if the redevelopment of Willets Point ever moves forward -- but the business group has been critical of that effort, too.
Perhaps the group is looking for a reason to stay relevant at a time when Willets Point’s redevelopment efforts have gone relatively quiet in recent months, at least publicly. Or perhaps its organizers are Yankees fans. Either way, despite the objections, the street naming -- amazin’ly -- happened without incident Thursday.
If only we could say the same for the Mets’ baseball play -- on and off the field.
As original Mets manager Casey Stengel once reportedly said, “The Mets have shown me more ways to lose than I even knew existed.”
- Randi F. Marshall @RandiMarshall
(by way of full disclosure, a die-hard Mets fan)
An interesting read
Maybe you had trouble keeping track of all 10 Democrats on the debate stage Wednesday night, ahead of 10 more showing up on Thursday night: a baseball team’s worth of fundraisers and email senders.
They (and the people around them) also could be bookwriters. A team working for Mayor Pete Buttigieg’s husband, Chasten, has pitched a book, according to a publishing source.
Chasten actually might have a more interesting story to tell than some of the presidential candidates following through on brief bids. His life experience growing up in a modest Midwestern background includes bullying, homelessness, and a traumatic coming-out story, according to profiles.
The potential national “first gentleman” has won applause for his jokes and updates on Twitter, where he has more than 340,000 followers.
Maybe there’s a book in his history-making time on the trail, following on the heels of his husband’s contribution, “Shortest Way Home,” published this year.
More likely to be a bestseller than former Rep. John Delaney’s forthcoming “The Next O’Malley.”
(Actually, Delaney already is an author. So is Andrew Yang. So is John Hickenlooper. So is Tim Ryan. So is …)
- Mark Chiusano @mjchiusano
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