As you may recall, the Mets’ long-delayed, much-ballyhooed Tom Seaver statue, which was finally unveiled last spring, had an embarrassing error, as the “4” on the back uni number was rendered incorrectly. Just to refresh your memory, here’s another look at the typographic glitch, which was first spotted last year by Uni Watch reader Steve Dodell:
When I interviewed William Behrends, the sculptor who made the statue, back in May, I asked him if it would be possible to fix the “4.” He responded: “It could be done. It’s not easy, though — once something’s installed on-site, then it becomes much harder to do than if it were in a foundry setting. It’s not unprecedented, but it would be quite a production.”
At the very least, I figured that meant no fix would be forthcoming during the 2022 MLB season. But I wondered if the Mets might add the missing stub to the numeral during the offseason. It seems like something they could do over the winter without anyone noticing, and then they could announce the fix on Opening Day (or just let people discover it for themselves).
So with the start of the season fast approaching, I got on the subway the other day and rode out to Queens to check out the current state of the statue (90 minutes each way, but I brought a few magazines to read). The angle of the sun made it hard to get a good shot, but here’s what I found:
Sorry about the image quality, but hopefully you can see that they have not changed or fixed the numeral. So they’ve apparently decided to stick with the existing design.
I think that’s the right decision. As Behrends, the sculptor, said when I interviewed him:
[A]s I look at the bigger picture of it, [the incorrect “4”] is also evidence — unfortunate as it is — that all of this was made by human hands. Every pinstripe, every button, it was a human hand that did that, and humans are fallible.
Well put. Most fans will never know the difference — and those who do, like us, will have a nice little story to think about for years to come. Good call, Mets!
Chris Christie could not be reached for comment.
From the looks of it the pigeons are gonna hide the mistake anyway.
I think a problem with fixing it is it will not appear the same as the balance of the statue. Because you couldn’t use the same procedure to make the fix as the original casting, it would always look like a repair. Only way to really fix it is to replace the whole thing.
I’m wondering who would be “at fault” here, so at what did the sculptor get the final approval from the team? Was it once the statue was finished or was it based on drawing? This is just curiosity, I agree it should be left as is.
I didn’t expect them to fix it. I did notice as early as last summer, that the statue seemed to be aging at a rate faster than what I would have expected. Your picture has done little to allay my fears. Did this look normal to you in person, Paul?
It didn’t look decayed or anything like that. But I’m no expert on such matters, so I can’t say what’s “normal” or “expected.” Personally, though, I didn’t find it concerning.
This unrepaired flaw will not curse my beloved Mets for the upcoming season, I expect. I fear that they will implode around the 100th regular season game this time. I agree that leaving it as it is right now is a testament to human efforts and sometimes mistakes. Go Mets!
Back/numerals definitely look weathered. I wonder if there has been some sculptor-assisted weathering in the off-season to obscure the error?