The New York Mets unveiled a statue of Hall of Fame pitcher Tom Seaver outside Citi Field earlier this season. It was an honor that many Mets fans said was long overdue.
However, it turned out that the sculptor of the Seaver statue, William Behrends, had made a slight mistake when creating it. According to Paul Lukas of Uni Watch, the number 41 that Seaver sports on the back of the statue has the incorrect font for the “4”. It doesn’t match the one the Mets had on the back of their jerseys during Seaver’s playing days.
In franchise history, the Mets have only used one back number font on their striped uniforms, and it’s called Block Standard, Lukas reported. Seaver wears the house uniform in the statue, but the problem is that #4 on the back of the statue is missing a small “stub” on that number, as Uni Watch described it – even though the 4 on the front of the jersey is the correct font.
North Carolina sculptor William Behrends, who designed the Seaver statue that now stands outside Citi Field, confirmed the error in the Uni Watch report.
“I went back and looked at my original clay model to see if the error in the number had happened in the foundry. But no – the clay model has it too. It’s not not like me to miss something like that, but that’s what happened. It’s something that I missed. This clay model, I worked on it for about 10 and a half months. I laid out the torso, laid out the uniform and blocked out the letters. At first, I know I had that little heel on the ‘4.’ But during the process of fitting the model, you’re removing things and rebuilding them somewhere else. So those numbers were probably built and rebuilt five or six times in the process. And in the latter part of the process, I clearly wasn’t thinking not to the number – I was thinking about other things, and I just missed it. It’s embarrassing.”
Although Behrends said he sent photos of his life-size clay model to the Mets organization weekly for review throughout the build process, he accepts full responsibility for the slight error regarding No. 4.
Behrends designed several baseball sculptures, including statues of Tony Gwynn and Trevor Hoffman in San Diego, Jackie Robinson and Pee-Wee Reese in Brooklyn, and Juan Marichal in San Francisco.