Members of the 1969 “Amazin” Mets and the late outfielder’s family joined city officials at the opening of I.S. 419. On August 26, 2022, Mayor Eric Adams, the Department of Education (DOE), and School Construction Authority (SCA) celebrated the opening of the Tommie L. Agee Educational Campus, I.S. 419. Located at 111-12 Astoria Blvd in East Elmhurst, Queens, I.S. 419 will serve 646 students from grades 6-8 and help alleviate crowding in the area for the 2022-23 school year.
Family of late Mets outfielder Tommie Agee, namely his wife Maxcine and daughter J’nelle, attended the opening, as well as teammates Cleon Jones and Art Shamsky of the World Series Champion 1969 “Amazin” Mets. Agee played for the Mets from 1968 to 1972, and remains regarded as one of the team’s all-time best centerfielders. A star player throughout his five seasons with the club, Agee helped lead the Mets to their first World Series win. The new educational campus is adjacent to the former Shea Stadium, where Agee and the “Miracle” Mets defeated the Baltimore Orioles in an upset victory by winning Game 5 of the 1969 World Series.
Tommie Agee Middle School is located in a fully air-conditioned, accessible five-story building. The opening of I.S. 419 will add 646 new seats for East Elmhurst students as part of the 2800+ seats created in Queens for the new school year, which begins today, September 8th.
The state-of-the-art facility has 18 standard classrooms and two district special education classrooms, as well as reading and speech resource rooms. Additionally, the school will provide a District 75 program for special needs students. The District 75 program contains eight additional classrooms with dedicated student restrooms, rooms for occupational and physical therapy, a guidance room, and a multi-purpose room.
Building amenities at Tommie Agee Middle School include:
- A library
- A parent room
- An art classroom
- A science demonstration lab and prep room
- A music suite with sound-proof practice cubicles
- A gymnatorium, exercise room, and outdoor playground
- A full kitchen, cafeteria, and staff lunchroom
- Guidance, medical, and administration suites
Maxcine and J’nelle Agee shared their excitement about the new educational campus, stating, “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. 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.”
“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 Mets are grateful to share this special day with Tommie’s family and teammates.”
Local City Council Member Francisco Moya added, “There is nothing more exciting than opening the doors to a new state-of-the-art school in my district, but opening the doors to a school named after one of my beloved Mets players makes it even more sweet.” Moya felt Agee “would be proud to see that his legacy lives on and is a part of educating the young people of East Elmhurst just a stone’s throw from where he played the sport he loved.”
“It’s no secret that New York City schoolchildren need more schools built for them to lower class sizes. With the opening of I.S. 419, our city is taking one step on the long walk towards educational equity,” said Councilmember Rita Joseph, chair, Committee on Education.
Queens Borough President Donovan Richards stated, “Tommie Agee’s on-field talent was a big reason why the Miracle Mets won the 1969 World Series, but his talent was matched only by his grit and determination — exemplifying the borough he loved and called home. The students of the new Tommie Agee Middle School exemplify those characteristics too. I couldn’t be prouder to help unveil 646 badly needed new school seats in the borough as we ensure Tommie’s legacy lives on.”
“Tommie Agee is special to Queens, and not just because of his incredible career with our beloved Mets. He has stayed in this community, giving back through charitable events and youth baseball, building a legacy as a member of our community in his own right,” saidNew York State Senator Jessica Ramos. “I’m thrilled that we can honor his work and his contributions to East Elmhurst here at I.S. 419.”
Mayor Adams stated, “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. 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. By continuing to create and improve the school buildings that the city’s children need and deserve, we are investing in New York City’s future.”
By: Cassidy Strong (Cassidy is a CityLaw intern and a New York Law School student, Class of 2024.)