Mets pitcher Tom Seaver poses for a photo in March...

Mets pitcher Tom Seaver poses for a photo in March 1968. Credit: AP/Anonymous

Having waited decades to build a statue in honor of Tom Seaver, the greatest player in franchise history, the Mets figure several extra months can’t hurt.

They announced Tuesday that the statue, commissioned by the previous ownership group in 2019, will be unveiled on Opening Day 2022, not this summer as previously intended.

"We are excited to unveil this one-of-a-kind tribute to Tom, but it has to be right," team president Sandy Alderson said in a statement. "Given delays related to the pandemic, the artist asked for additional time to complete his work. After conferring with the Seaver family, we made the decision to unveil the statue on Opening Day 2022."

Seaver, diagnosed with dementia, retired from public life in March 2019. In the months that followed, the Mets changed the address of Citi Field to 41 Seaver Way and announced plans for the statue, originally expected to be positioned outside the ballpark in 2020.

Seaver died last September from complications of Lewy Body Dementia and COVID-19. The Mets are wearing a "41" patch on their uniforms all season in his honor.

"We are excited to celebrate the unveiling with more fans at Citi Field in 2022," the Seaver family said in a statement released by the Mets, "and know that Tom would be proud."

Newsday LogoCovering LI news as it happensDigital AccessOnly 25¢for 5 months