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Saturday, June 29, 2024

Mets adding Grote and Mays patches to jerseys


FLUSHING, N.Y., June 29, 2024 — The New York Mets today announced the club has added memorial uniform patches honoring the lives of Jerry Grote and Willie Mays. The patches will be debut prior to today’s 4:10 p.m. game vs. Houston.

Grote’s family will be on hand today at Citi Field to celebrate his career and available in the press conference room following Carlos Mendoza’s availability at 1:30 p.m.

“It has been a tough year for our Mets family,” said Steve and Alex Cohen. “We’ve lost two Mets Hall of Famers in Buddy Harrelson and Jerry Grote and the great Willie Mays. Jerry was the best defensive catcher in the history of our organization and guided the incredible 1969 pitching staff. We were honored to fulfill Joan Payson’s promise to retire Willie’s number on Old Timers’ Day a few years ago and make sure he has a permanent home in New York.”

Grote passed away at 81 earlier this year. Grote was inducted into the Mets Hall of Fame in 1992 after catching 12 years (1966–1977) for the team. He was a two-time All-Star and anchored the 1969 world champion pitching staff. Grote led NL catchers in fielding percentage in 1975 and caught more games (1,176) than anyone else in franchise history.

“It means so much to the Grote family that the Mets are remembering Jerry’s legacy,” said his wife Cheryl and son Jeff. “Jerry still has so many fans in New York and it makes us proud that what he did for the organization will not be forgotten.”

Mays passed away at age 93 on June 18. The Mets retired Mays’ #24 on August 27, 2022. Mays, who was elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1979, spent the final two years of his illustrious career with the Mets (1972–1973). His final home run, the 660th of his career, came on August 17, 1973 vs. Cincinnati at Shea Stadium. He was 24-time All-Star, two-time MVP and earned 12 Gold Gloves.

“Putting the patch on the uniform is another clear indication by the Mets that they appreciated and valued the contributions my dad made to the organization and for that matter to New York City,” said Willie’s son, Michael Mays. “For my father, coming back to the Mets was coming back to where it all started. He was coming home. I want to thank Alex and Steve Cohen for honoring the pledge that Joan Payson made to retire his number. That meant a great deal to him and our family. Let’s Go Mets.”

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