Aug. 29, 2022 By Max Murray
Elected officials and members of the World Series Champion 1969 “Amazin” Mets joined the family of legendary Mets outfielder Tommie Agee Friday to celebrate the opening of a new middle school in East Elmhurst.
The brand new 646-seat school — located at 111-12 Astoria Boulevard — has been named the Tommie L. Agee Educational Campus, I.S. 419, in honor of the Mets ballplayer. The school will serve students from grades 6 to 8 and will help alleviate overcrowding in the district.
Agee, who died in 2001, spent five seasons playing centerfield for the New York Mets, from 1968 to 1972. Regarded as one of the club’s all-time best centerfielders, Agee helped the Mets win their first World Series at nearby Shea Stadium in 1969.
Agee’s wife, Maxcine, and daughter, J’nelle, as well as teammates Cleon Jones and Art Shamsky, joined the celebration of the school’s opening. Mayor Eric Adams was also at the ceremony.
“Tommie Agee was not only part of the greatest ball club in this country, but a star player on the greatest team there ever was—the 1969 Amazin’ Mets,” Adams said. “His presence fed the energy of New York City and we’re thrilled to celebrate Tommie’s contributions today at the new Tommie L. Agee Educational Campus.”
The School Construction Authority, which is in charge of building public schools in New York City, said that it has added 2,800 new seats across Queens for the 2022-2023 school year.
“This brand new state-of-the-art facility is another example of the SCA’s ability to provide much needed new school seats to New York City’s students and families. I am proud of the SCA’s continued track record in helping to reduce overcrowding and provide nurturing learning environments,” said SCA President and CEO Nina Kubota. “
Agee’s family said the ballplayer would have appreciated the honor of the school being named after him.
“Tommie would have been so very proud to be recognized with his name on this beautiful state-of-the-art facility, making educational opportunities available to the students of East Elmhurst,” said J. Maxcine and J’nelle Agee. “Tommie was a true gentleman, on and off the field, and gave back in so many ways through his service and foundation. We, along with the New York Mets, are proud to share his contributions with the Queens community he called home.”
Executives with the Mets also thought the honor was appropriate. “This is such a fitting dedication — to name a school after Tommie in Queens,” said Sandy Alderson, president, New York Mets. “Queens was Tommie’s home. He lived, worked, and played here, and I know how proud he would be since education and community involvement were so important to him.”
The building is five stories tall and fully air-conditioned. The facility provides 18 standard classrooms and two district special education classrooms, as well as reading and speech resource rooms. The school also includes a District 75 program, which contains eight additional classrooms with dedicated student restrooms, rooms for occupational and physical therapy, a guidance room, and a multi-purpose room. The building also includes:
- An art classroom;
- A science demonstration lab and prep room;
- A music suite with sound-proof practice cubicles;
- A library;
- A gymnatorium, exercise room, and outdoor playground;
- A full kitchen, cafeteria, and staff lunchroom;
- Guidance, medical, and administration suites;
- A parent room.
“I am so grateful that the legacy of Mets legend Tommie L. Agee will live on in the naming of the new school I.S. 419 in East Elmhurst located minutes away from where the old Shea Stadium once stood,” said New York State Assemblymember Jeffrion Aubry. “Tommie gave so much to his adopted hometown of Queens and the community is now recognizing his many contributions. I would like to thank all those who helped to make this possible.”