09/08/09 7:51 PM ET
Mets unveil Plum Room to honor Plummer
Many attend opening dedicated to longtime employee
By Tim Britton / MLB.com
Plummer, a member of the Mets' front office since 1976, passed away on June 24, 2008, of a heart attack at the age of 57.
Although the Mets opened a Plum Room at Shea Stadium in August of last season, the organization was excited to honor Plummer with a more permanent memorial at their new home. Members of Plummer's immediate and extended family, general manager Omar Minaya, manager Jerry Manuel and several players past and present -- including David Wright, John Franco and Ed Charles -- were on hand for the dedication.
"What brings us together here is the warm spirit of a person that, although he may not be here physically with us, we still feel him with us in so many ways," Minaya said.
The room is replete with photos of Plummer across his five-decade association with the Mets, including a picture of Plummer as the 13-year-old batboy for his hometown Marion Mets in 1965. That was the year he shared a dugout with a young pitcher named Nolan Ryan.
A glass display case contains smaller framed photos, signed baseballs, bobblehead dolls of Mets throughout Plummer's time with the club and bricks from Citi Field's Fan Walk dedicated to Plummer. The five bricks on the bottom shelf of the case include one from his wife, Tee, and son, Jonathan, with the message: "Always with us."
"The Mets' organization has been so gracious to extend this to our family," Jonathan Plummer said. "We feel so honored."
The Plum Room is capped, fittingly, with plum-colored doors and a plaque on the main door celebrating a man who was "an inspiration to a generation of colleagues and everyone who had the good fortune to know him."
"He's just a beautiful man," said Ron Darling, who credited Plummer with assisting his move to New York as a rookie in 1984. Plummer helped Darling land appearances in the offseason, allowing the young pitcher to both familiarize himself with the city and pay his offseason rent. "It was his help that made a big difference with my success early in my career here because I never had to worry about not knowing the people around here."
"Plum was like one of the players," Darling added. "If you gave it to him, he gave it back to you times 10. And with his history in the game, he did a lot for a lot of our African-American players. They had a guy they could associate with."
Plummer had that kind of effect throughout his career, positively influencing members from every generation of the Mets' history -- from Ryan all the way to Wright.
"I don't think anyone in the history of this organization -- from [Tom] Seaver to all the players -- I don't think there's ever been a more loved person in this organization," said Rusty Staub. "It's almost impossible to think of Jimmy and not smile. There's no way."
Tim Britton is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.