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Mets pay tribute to legendary Seaver

Citi Field was in mourning on Thursday. Black bunting hung from the main front office entrance on Tom Seaver Way, renamed earlier this year to honor the late Hall of Famer, who died on Wednesday following years of deteriorating health. Before first pitch of their game against the Yankees, the Mets observed a moment of silence before a tribute video played.

In a poignant gesture unique to the man, each Mets player then rubbed dirt on his right pant leg to symbolize Seaver’s iconic drop-and-drive delivery. As they took the field, the Mets paused before their warmups, doffing their caps to Seaver’s No. 41 plaque hanging from the upper deck in left.

“He was our franchise,” former 1969 teammate Ed Kranepool said.

Understanding that no single gesture would be quite enough to memorialize the man, the Mets did as much as possible to preserve his memory. In addition to draping bunting over Citi Field’s Seaver Way entrance, its Seaver Gate and behind home plate, the Mets hung a No. 41 Seaver jersey in their dugout. This weekend, they plan to unveil a commemorative jersey patch, which they will wear for the rest of the season.