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AAA 2011: Excerpt from "The Mets Legacy Initiative"

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We're doing a final round of edits before handing the Amazin' Avenue Annual off to the printers, and I'd just like to share a small excerpt from Greg Prince and Jason Fry's "The Mets Legacy Initiative," a rousing, gloriously written instruction manual to the restoration and celebration of Mets history. It's the longest single chapter in the book, but here is a small section on Tom Seaver.

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Hand Mr. Seaver The Ball

When the Mets prepare to take the field to Jane Jarvis’s organ on April 8, the first ball of the season should be thrown out by Tom Seaver. When they are ready to play their first home game of 2012, the first ball of the season should be thrown out by Tom Seaver. Come 2013, this ceremonial task needs to be put in the capable of hands of Tom Seaver.

Tom Seaver throwing out the first ball to start every Mets season would be a Terrific tradition. The more Tom Seaver at Citi Field, the better. Granted, he’s a full-time Californian these days, but he makes a couple of trips back east annually and serves as a diligent, if low-profile, Mets Ambassador. Raise that profile. He’s the best thing we’ve ever had. Keep him going. Make Opening Day = Tom Seaver. Make every Mets Hall of Fame induction day = Tom Seaver. Even if the new inductees weren’t his teammates, they are by definition some of the greatest Mets ever. Tom Seaver is the greatest Met ever. Nobody is more fitting to give a laying on of ceremonial hands.

Tom was not part of the 2010 induction of Cashen, Johnson, Gooden, and Strawberry. He should have been. He should be on hand for any occasion we deem sacred, including the first home game of every Mets playoff series (sooner, rather than later, one hopes).

And if possible, each of us individually should interject his name into every conversation about great pitching. For example, when someone starts comparing Stephen Strasburg to Walter Johnson or Bob Gibson or (God forbid) Roger Clemens, you say, "If he’s lucky, he’ll have a career like Tom Seaver." When someone else, for whatever reason, brings up Greg Maddux or Sandy Koufax, you say "Tom Seaver." For someone who was as dominant for as long as Seaver was, his name doesn’t come up nearly enough outside Mets circles.

At the very least, let’s keep his face visibly in our midst.

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