Spotlight On: Baseball in NYC

The New York Mets are the only Major League Baseball team to call Queens its home base. This tour of places named for baseball greats includes beloved Mets stars as well as several other NY players who grew up in Queens.

Seaver Way

Tom Seaver (1944-2020), also known as “The Franchise” and "Tom Terrific," signed with the New York Mets in 1966 and pitched for the team from 1967 to 1977. He won the National League Rookie of the Year in 1967 and Cy Young Award in 1969. During his time with the team, he was selected to ten All-Star teams, led the league in strikeouts five times, and had five one-hitters and five 20-win seasons. He also led the "Miracle Mets” to win the World Series in 1969 and appeared again in the 1973 World Series.

Fans were heartbroken when Seaver was traded to the Cincinnati Reds in June 1977, where he continued to dominate. He finally pitched a no-hitter in 1978 and recorded his 3,000th strikeout in 1981. He found himself back on the Mets in 1983 and finished his career with the Chicago White Sox and Boston Red Sox from 1984 to 1986. When he retired in 1987, he had a record of 311-205, with a 2.86 ERA and 3,640 strikeouts. Seaver was a first-ballot Hall of Fame inductee in 1992 and wears the New York Mets cap on his plaque in the Hall.

After retiring from playing, Seaver continued with baseball as an announcer, working for both the New York Yankees (1989-1993) and New York Mets (1999-2005) before retiring again to run Seaver Vineyards in California.

The Mets retired Seaver's uniform number, 41, in 1988. Shortly before his death in 2020, the New York Mets changed their address to 41 Seaver Way, naming the part of 126th street outside the ballpark in his honor. On April 15, 2022, a statue of Seaver created by sculptor William Behrends was unveiled in front of the stadium. The bronze and stainless steel work, which stands 10 feet high and weighs more than 33,000 pounds, depicts Seaver in his trademark pitching stance.


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Bob Raissman, "Remembering Tom Seaver, the broadcaster: ‘He didn’t want to be second best at anything,’" New York Daily News, September 3, 2020,

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Joon Lee, "New York Mets unveil statue of legendary pitcher Tom Seaver at Citi Field," April 15, 2022,

P.S. 015 Jackie Robinson

Jack Roosevelt "Jackie" Robinson (1919-1972) will forever be remembered and honored as the first Black player in Major League Baseball. Born in Georgia, he was raised by a single mother along with his four siblings. His early success as a student athlete led him to UCLA, where he became the first athlete to win varsity letters in four sports (baseball, football. basketball and track).

After serving in the U.S. Army during World War II, he played for the Kansas City Monarchs of the Negro Leagues in 1944 and was selected by Brooklyn Dodgers general manager Branch Rickey as a player who could start the integration of the white major leagues. Robinson was recognized not only for his baseball talents, but because he was thought to have had the right demeanor for the challenges he would ultimately face.

Robinson made his National League debut on April 15, 1947, as Brooklyn's first baseman. In spite of the abuse of the crowds and some fellow baseball players, he endured and succeeded in the sport. He won the Rookie of the Year Award that year. Two years later, he was named the National League MVP, when he led the league with a .342 batting average, 37 steals and 124 RBI. A few select players, like Dodgers’ shortstop Pee Wee Reese, were particularly supportive of Robinson in spite of the taunting and jeers and helped him excel. In Robinson’s 10 seasons with the Dodgers, the team won six pennants and ultimately captured the 1955 World Series title.

Robinson’s struggles and achievements paved the way for Black players in baseball and other sports. When he retired after the 1956 season, he left the game with a .313 batting average, 972 runs scored, 1,563 hits and 200 stolen bases. After baseball, Robinson operated a chain of restaurants and coffee shops but continued to advocate for social change, serving on the board of the NAACP. He died of a heart attack in 1972.

Robinson was inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame as its first Black player in 1962. On April 15, 1997, 50 years after his major league debut, his uniform number 42 was retired from all teams of Major League Baseball, a unique honor to this day. Ten years later in 2007, April 15 was declared to be Jackie Robinson Day. In Robinson's honor, all major league players, coaches and managers wear the number 42 on that day.


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Phillip Martinez, “Jackie Robinson Day: 4 Facts About His Jersey No. 42, Now Retired in MLB,” Newsweek, April 15, 2021,

Dave Anderson, “Jackie Robinson, First Black in Major Leagues, Dies,” The New York Times, October 25, 1972,

Daniel Kramer and Do-Hyoung Park, “Every first-ballot Hall of Famer in MLB history,”, January 25, 2022,

Whitey Ford Field

The Hell Gate Lighthouse stood on the seawall of this site from 1907 to 1982.

Phil "Scooter" Rizzuto Park

Phil “Scooter” Rizzuto (1917-2007) was born in Brooklyn to Italian parents but moved with his family to Glendale, Queens, in his youth. He played baseball at P.S. 68 in Glendale and Richmond Hill High School, which he left before graduating to play in the major leagues. Although disregarded by some local teams because of his height (5’ 6”), he convinced the New York Yankees to sign him in 1937.

After proving himself in the minor leagues, Rizzuto played shortstop for the Yankees starting in 1941 and, after serving in the Navy from 1943 to 1945, played the remainder of his career with the team from 1946 to 1956. His superb defense and offensive contributions helped the team win 10 American League pennants and eight World Series during his 13 years with the club.

After finishing second in MVP voting in 1949, he followed with a career year in 1950 in which he achieved career highs in multiple categories, including hits (200), batting average (.324), on-base percentage (.418) and runs (125), while winning the AL MVP Award. As a shortstop, he led all AL shortstops in double plays three times, putouts twice and assists once. By the time he retired in 1956, he left the game with a batting average of .273, 1,588 hits, 149 stolen bases, 38 home runs, 563 RBI and five All-Star Game selections.

Rizzuto was hired quickly afterward by the Yankees as a broadcaster in 1957 and would announce for the team for 40 years, retiring in 1996. He was beloved by new generations of fans who adored his style – his “Holy Cow!” signature line is recognizable to this day.

The Yankees retired Rizzuto's uniform number 10 in 1985 and placed a plaque in his honor in their stadium's Monument Park. He was inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1994, recognizing his career of more than 50 years in the game.

Phil "Scooter" Rizzuto Park opened in 1938 as Smokey Oval Park, a reference to the Long Island Railroad terminus, which was a landing area of soot and ash from the railway smoke. The park was renamed in 2008 to honor Rizzuto.


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"Phil 'Scooter' Rizzuto Park," New York City Department of Parks & Recreation, accessed February 10, 2023,

Casey Stengel Depot

Charles Dillon “Casey” Stengel (1890-1975) was a Baseball Hall of Famer and former New York Mets manager. During his playing career, he played outfield for both New York National League teams, the Brooklyn Dodgers and New York Giants, with a career batting average of .284. After retiring, he managed the New York Yankees from 1949 to 1960. This team, featuring the batting power of Joe DiMaggio, Mickey Mantle and Roger Maris, won ten pennants and seven World Series championships. Stengel then went on to become the first manager of the expansion Mets team from 1962 to 1965. He was known for his witty remarks and aphorisms and beloved as a New York baseball icon.

After a $55 million renovation, the former Flushing Depot was renamed the Casey Stengel Depot in 1992. The bus depot stands opposite the entrance to the New York Mets' Citi Field stadium. 


"Casey Stengel Plaza," New York City Department of Parks & Recreation, accessed January 29, 2023,

"Casey Stengel," National Baseball Hall of Fame, accessed February 6, 2023,

"History of the Bus System," MTA New York City Transit, accessed February 8, 2023, via the Wayback Machine,

Tommie L. Agee Educational Campus (I.S. 419)

Tommie Lee Agee (1942-2001) helped the New York Mets win the World Series in 1969 and was a resident of Queens for much of his life. Born in Alabama, Agee initially signed with the Cleveland Indians in 1961 but mostly played in the minor leagues for them. He was traded to the Chicago White Sox in 1965 and won the AL Rookie of the Year in his first full year of play.

Agee was traded to the Mets in 1968 and played a large role in their successful season of 1969, leading the team in home runs (26), RBIs (76) and runs scored (97). The Mets had 100 winning games in 1969 and won the World Series, thanks in part to two amazing catches by Agee in Game 3 that are remembered to this day. Agee was the first African American player to win a Gold Glove award in both the American League and National League. He is also credited with the longest home run in Shea Stadium at 505 feet on April 10, 1969.

Injuries shortened Agee's career, and he retired after the 1973 season in which he played for both the Houston Astros and St. Louis Cardinals. But he would remain in the New York area, living and working in East Elmhurst for more than 30 years. He died of a heart attack in January 2001. Agee was posthumously inducted into the Mets Hall of Fame in 2002, the last Met so honored at Shea Stadium.

The naming and location of the Tommie L. Agee Educational Campus (I.S. 419) is particularly significant because it is the former site of The Outfielder's Lounge, a bar that Agee owned with fellow Met Cleon Jones; it was also where he met his wife Maxcine. At the naming ceremony, New York City Mayor Eric Adams concluded his speech by proclaiming Aug. 26, 2022, “Tommie Lee Agee Day.”


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Max Murray, “Officials Cut the Ribbon to New Middle School in East Elmhurst, School Named After Famous Mets Ballplayer,” Astoria Post, August 29, 2022,

John Vorperian, “Tommie Agee,” Society for American Baseball Research, accessed February 14, 2023,

Marine Parkway - Gil Hodges Memorial Bridge

Gilbert Ray “Gil” Hodges (1924-1972) helped win championships for his teams both as a player and as a manager. He was born in Indiana and excelled at baseball at an early age. He was signed by the Brooklyn Dodgers in 1943 but only managed to play one game that year, leaving to serve in the Marines for World War II.

Hodges returned to the team in 1947 and played a number of positions before finding success at first base. During his peak offensive production from 1949 to 1957, Hodges averaged 32 home runs and 108 RBI per season. It was during these seasons that the Dodgers won five National League pennants and the 1955 World Series title. One notable achievement for Hodges occurred on August 31, 1950, when he became just the second modern-era National League player to hit four home runs in one game.

Hodges moved with the team to Los Angeles in 1958 and helped it win its first National League pennant and World Series on the West Coast in 1959. His abilities and playing time diminished after that; he played two more years with the Dodgers and then with the new New York team, the Mets, in 1962 and 1963. He is credited with hitting the first home run for the Mets.

Hodges retired early in the 1963 season with 370 homers (third most for a right-handed hitter at the time), 1,921 hits, 1,274 RBI and three Gold Glove Awards at first base – even though the award was not created until 1957. He was quickly chosen by the last-place Washington Senators to manage the team. He brought the Senators out of recent 100-loss seasons to a more respectable 76-85 record in 1967 with limited resources. This success was noted by the New York Mets, who hired him after the 1967 season to help their expansion team.

It didn’t take long for Hodges to turn a team that hadn’t won more than 66 games in a season to “The Miracle Mets” of 1969 that won 100 games and the World Series title. The Mets had winning seasons in 1970 and 1971 but, tragically, Hodges had a heart attack and died just before his 48th birthday on April 2, 1972.

Hodges’ uniform number 14 was retired on June 9, 1973, at Shea Stadium. He was inducted into the Mets Hall of Fame in 1982. After years of consideration, his number 14 was retired by the Los Angeles Dodgers and he was finally inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame by the Golden Days Eras Committee in 2022.

In 1978, The Marine Parkway Bridge was renamed the Marine Parkway - Gil Hodges Memorial Bridge, marking the first time a bridge was named for a major sports figure. Appropriately, it spans the Rockaway Inlet from Jacob Riis Park in Queens to Floyd Bennett Field in Brooklyn.


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