Special to HarpBlaster.com
NEW YORK — New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg yesterday presented the Key to the City to New York Mets pitcher Tom Glavine in honor of his 300th victory, a feat achieved by only 22 other pitchers in Major League Baseball history.
“This has been tremendous few days for the Mets, my family and myself,” said Glavine. “Receiving the Key to the City from the Mayor today just puts the cap on everything. This is something we will remember for a long, long time.”
First given in 1702, the Key to the City of New York is presented to distinguished persons for outstanding civic contributions. The Mayor also announced that the City will honor New York Yankees third basemen Alex Rodriguez with a Key for his 500th home run.
Bloomberg and Glavine were joined by Mets Senior Executive Vice President & Chief Operating Officer Jeff Wilpon, Tom’s wife Chris, his daughter Amber, and his sons Peyton and Mason. Glavine’s other son, Jonathan, was unable to attend the ceremony.
“With his 300th win, Tom Glavine has joined the pantheon of great Mets pitchers like Seaver, Ryan, Gooden and Leiter,” Bloomberg said. “But what’s especially great about this achievement is that Tom was the first pitcher to win his 300th as a Met. No matter where life takes Tom after his career, our doors will always be open to him. Congratulations to Tom, his family, and the Mets organization on this momentous accomplishment.”
On June 20, 2003, Bloomberg gave a Key to the City to New York Yankees pitcher Roger Clemens in honor of his 300th win. Past recipients of the Key to the City include winners of the New York City marathon, Olympic Gold medal winners Sarah Hughes and Jimmy Shea, Mets pitcher John Franco, Yankees pitchers David Cone and David Wells, the Dalai Lama, Nelson Mandela, Pope John Paul II, Mikhail Gorbachev, Mother Theresa and the 1980 US Olympic Hockey team.
The practice of presenting a key to an individual may be traced back to medieval times, when admission into a city was hampered by many legal restrictions, as well as by walls and locked gates. The key symbolized free entry.
Today, the presentation honors outstanding civic contributions of the recipients.
IMAGE CAPTION: Mayor Michael Bloomberg presents the Key to the City to New York Mets pitcher Tom Glavine in honor of his 300th victory, a feat achieved by only 22 other pitchers in Major League Baseball history (Spencer T. Tucker/New York City).