Mets honor Plummer's memory
'Plum Room,' scholarship dedicated for longtime employee
NEW YORK -- Tom Seaver stood in front of the "Plum" purple doorway, and, appropriately, a smile came to his face.
He instantly took hold of the walk over to the door and the pictures of 47-year Mets employee Jim Plummer, or "Plum" as he was called, posing with his friends in the organization. And there were so many pictures with so many people.
Although he passed away June 24 at the age of 57, Plummer befriended everyone in the Mets organization. Black, white, brown or Technicolor, Seaver said, "Plum" would jokingly stick needles into your side, meant to induce a friendly laugh. After letting out a few hearty giggles, Seaver unveiled a plaque on the front of the door, dedicating the room inside Shea Stadium to James Raymond Plummer.
It read: "A loyal and compassionate teammate, 'Plum' was happiest when those around him were happy."
"He was always a delight. He always brought a smile to your face," Seaver said, "but you knew you were always going to get zinged. Whether it was a Hall of Famer or a rookie pitcher, you might not realize until you got back to the hotel and you had a little barb in your side, 'Where did that come from?' And it brought a smile to your face. He was a friend to a lot of people, and I am proud to call him my friend."
Standing with former players Rusty Staub, Darryl Strawberry and Plummer's widow, Tee, the Mets' Hall of Fame pitcher helped introduce the "Plum Room." He opened the doors and walked in to see wooden shelves that held bobblehead dolls of famous Mets, signed balls dedicated to Plummer and the "Ya Gotta Believe" Award that he received at the 2008 Welcome Home Dinner.
And many pictures -- all featuring a wry smile on Plummer's face -- lined the back wall. Another featured a 19-year-old Plummer performing his duties as the youngest general manager in the Minor Leagues with the Marion (Va.) Mets, where he started as a batboy in 1965.
Time spins forward from right to left, eventually showing a grown Plummer as the Mets' director of corporate services. All of these remembrances will move out of Shea Stadium at the end of the season and become part of a larger "Plum Room" in Citi Field.
Along with the room, the Mets Foundation also created a scholarship in Plummer's name. Every year, a $5,000 award will be given to a deserving student from Queens who "has an interest in baseball and a commitment to community service." The student will also receive an internship with the Mets' marketing and communications department.
"We are just so happy right now," said Tee Plummer, who had to wipe tears away from her eyes before Seaver gave her a comforting hug. "We are just so happy that everybody loved him. He's still running the show."
"We didn't always love him," Seaver joked, causing the entire collection of Plummer's friends and family to erupt with laughter.
He then reminisced again about those infamous needles.
"You knew you were going to get those zingers, which was good," Seaver said. "It was what you wanted."
Jon Blau is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.