Opinion: Seaver, Piazza, and Who Else

Yesterday, the Mets announced that Mike Piazza and Tom Seaver will be among several of the team’s former players who are expected to be in attendance on Sept. 28, when the Mets play their final regular-season game in Shea.

This is great news, because, frankly, I’m sick and tired of the Yankees having a monopoly on Tradition in New York City.

The thing is, if the Mets are going to welcome people like Seaver and Piazza, and Keith Hernandez and Darryl Strawberry, I hope they also invite people like Gregg Jefferies, Doc Gooden, Wally Backman and Todd Hundley.

I mean, if it’s a night about honoring the stadium’s on-field past, then it would be unfortunate to ignore certain people for things that they may have done off-field, which ended up putting them in bad standing with the team’s owners.

Fact is, as a kid, Backman’s on-field presence and style was an inspiration to me; Gooden was a God; I had a Hundley jersey, and paid admission to specifically see him play; and I emulated Jefferies’s swing.

These guys, among many others, though not as prominent as Seaver and Piazza, are still a huge part of why I root for the Mets today – and I hope they are not ignored.