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Queens school named after Mets Tommie Agee, Mayor Adams’ ‘childhood hero’


A new Queens school was named Friday for legendary Mets player Tommie Agee – a “childhood hero” of Mayor Eric Adams.

The ball player was a member of the legendary 1969 “Amazin’” Mets team that won the the World Series championship. 

Center fielder Agee held the record for the longest homerun hit at the team’s old Shea Stadium and was the first black player to win a Gold Glove in both the American and National Leagues. 

Mayor Eric Adams attends the ribbon-cutting ceremony for the new Queens IS 419 Middle School on Friday.
Mayor Eric Adams attends the ribbon-cutting ceremony for the new Queens IS 419 Middle School on Friday.
Matthew McDermott
Tommie Agee
Tommie Agee was the centerfielder for the New York Mets.
ASSOCIATED PRESS

He was inducted into the New York Mets Hall of fame in 2002, after he died of a heart attack at the age of 58 in 2001.

“The great Hall of Famer, Tommie Agee played the role model on the young men who grew up during that era,” said Adams at the dedication ceremony outside the new Tommie L. Agee Educational Campus, PS 419 in East Elmhurst Queens — not far from where the Mets play.

“I was nine years old at that time and we were in dark places as children in South Jamaica, Queens,” he said, recalling his childhood and the great 1969 team.

“When we saw that team, when we saw them play, it meant so much to us…Tommy Agee meant so much to me.” 

 Mayor Eric Adams
The Queens school was named after the Mets superstar Tommie Ages.
Matthew McDermott
Queens IS 419 Middle School
The new school was built at 111-12 Astoria Boulevard.
Matthew McDermott

“Congratulations to all those who participated in ensuring that we are naming a school after my childhood hero, Tommie Agee – Hall of Famer, leader, a great person, one of  the greatest members of the greatest race alive and that’s the human race,” said Adams. 

The school is one of 11 new education buildings slated to open across the five boroughs in 2022. They will add over 5,700 seats for kids in classrooms citywide, according to City Hall.  

Agee won the American League Rookie of the Year award in 1966, and was traded to the Mets after the 1967 season. 

He became the Mets’ starting center fielder and leadoff hitter.

He was traded in 1972 to Houston and retired the following year after playing 12 seasons in the major leagues.

His wife Maxcine and daughter J’nelle spoke, thanking local elected officials including longtime Democratic Assemblyman Jeffrion Aubry, who helped deliver the tribute to Agee.

“When we lost Tommy in 2001, it was our East Elmhurst community that helped us and worked with us every step of the way to keep his legacy alive,” Maxcine said. 

Famous Mets and former teammates Cleon Jones and Art Shamsky also showed up Friday to honor their friend.

“We were brothers. And we met some 68 years ago. That’s a long time,” said Jones, who was not just Agee’s fellow player, but also a childhood friend who grew up with him in Mobile, Alabama. 

The pair also co-owned a nightclub bar on the site of the school.

Mayor Eric Adams, others at ribbon cutting.
The school is one of 11 new education buildings slated to open across New York City this year.
Matthew McDermott

“He loved the people in the area – and certainly you’ve loved him back,” he said.

State Sen. Jessica Ramos, who represents the area, chimed in, “Tommie Agee was beloved, not just as a member of our home team, but because he loved this community.”

The first place Mets are hosting an old timers’ ceremony for players past on Saturday.



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