NEW YORK -- Far too young to remember Tom Seaver's glory days, Pete Alonso and the New York Mets found a perfect way to pay tribute to the greatest player in franchise history. Starting pitcher Robert Gsellman, his right knee already dirtied, led the Mets from the dugout onto the diamond at Citi Field on Thursday to face the New York Yankees. Every teammate who followed him had a smudge of dirt in the same spot along with the right knee.

What better symbol to honor Seaver, the Mets icon and Hall of Famer whose classic, drop-and-drive, power-pitcher delivery was imitated by thousands of Little Leaguers in the 1960s and 1970s?

When Seaver's delivery was dialed in, his right knee often accumulated dirt over the course of an outing on the mound.

Seaver, known for decades simply as "The Franchise," died Monday at the age of 75 due to complications from Lewy body dementia and the coronavirus. His death was announced Wednesday night, a few hours after New York beat the Baltimore Orioles -- the team Tom Terrific and the Miracle Mets toppled in the 1969 World Series.

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