Ahead of their Saturday night’s game against the Cincinnati Reds, the New York Mets inducted three former greats — Jon Matlack, Ron Darling and Edgardo Alfonzo — into their Hall of Fame in a ceremony, that was delayed by more than 14 months owing to the raging pandemic.

The Mets had to delay their game against the Reds by 25 minutes to hold the ceremony.

Opening the event, master of ceremonies Howie Rose addressed the crowd the Citi Field crowd, saying, “Welcome to an event that, quite frankly, is long overdue,” according to Newsday reports.

ALSO READ | New York Mets get Javier Báez from Chicago Cubs ahead of trade deadline: Reports

While Rose could have been referred to the pandemic-induced delay, he could also have been referring to the fact that the Mets hadn’t added anyone to their Hall since Mike Piazza in 2013.

When the team’s former owners, the Wilpons, sought to correct that when they announced the induction of Saturday’s honorees in January 2020.

The ceremony was supposed to have taken place last May.

“To me, this is a dream come true,” Alfonzo said before the ceremony. “So happy for it and looking forward to getting it done with.”

The Mets now have 30 people in their Hall of Fame. Some of them were on the field on Saturday night to honour their former teammates, including Piazza, Keith Hernandez and Ed Kranepool.

ALSO READ | MLB: Atlanta Braves get Eddie Rosario from the Cleveland Indians in a trade deal

During his playing days, Matlack, now 71, went 82-81 with a 3.03 ERA for the Mets from 1971-’77 and was a key member of the 1973 NL championship team.

Meanwhile, Darling, 60, went 99-70 with a 3.50 ERA for the Mets from 1983-’91. Alfonzo, 47, was with the Mets from 1995-2002 and hit .292 with 120 home runs and a .812 OPS.

“I received the news and tears came to my eyes because when I played here, I never thought about Hall of Fame or nothing,” Alfonzo said.