The Mets are committed to serving as partners in our community. Players, alumni and staff are dedicated to helping others in our hometown. Each month, we'll provide a glimpse into our community activities and a preview of what's to come.
"The Wright Thing" community platform created by David Wright has returned this season and will honor and recognize heroes from the New York Police Department. The initiative underscores Wright's admiration of law enforcement personnel as his father, Rhon, served in the Norfolk Police Department for 30 years before retiring as Assistant Police Chief in January.
On Saturday, April 26, the Mets and Wright welcomed NYPD Police Officers James Li and Randy Chow along with FDNY EMTs Khadijah Hall and Shaun Alexander. Officer Li was shot once in each leg while chasing a suspect who entered a Brooklyn bus through the rear door. Both officers graduated from the Police Academy in December. EMTs Hall and Alexander were off duty and came to the assistance of Li.
As "The Wright Thing" honorees, Officers Li and Chow and EMTs Hall and Alexander met with Wright before the game and received a mini-replica of third base. They sat in VIP seats behind third base and were honored on Citi Vision during the game.
"Anything we can do to honor police officers is special to me." Wright said. "I have seen first-hand how they put their lives on the line every day and I am proud to be associated with a program that honors the NYPD."
"The Wright Thing" launched last year with Wright honoring volunteers who made an extraordinary impact on the lives of individuals and organizations impacted by Hurricane Sandy. The season-long initiative raised awareness that more work needed to be done to help our hometown continue the recovery and rebuilding process.
Mondays at Citi Field are extra special in 2014. The Mets are honoring U.S. servicemen and women by trading in their customary blue and orange uniforms for new camouflage jerseys. It's all part of Military Mondays presented by GovX.
At all five Monday night games at Citi Field, the Mets are paying tribute to active and retired military personnel by participating in special community outreach events and offering complimentary tickets and retail store discounts.
Mets General Manager Sandy Alderson, pitcher Dillon Gee and 710 WOR AM Mets radio announcer Josh Lewin kicked off Military Mondays on April 21 by visiting recovering veterans and the doctors and nurses who care for them at the VA New York Harbor Healthcare Hospital in Manhattan. They thanked the veterans for their service, signed autographs, posed for photos and answered questions about the Mets.
"It's really rewarding because I can identify with so many of of the people here, as they served at the same time that I did," said Alderson, a former Marine who served in Vietnam. "It's great to see the kind of care they are getting here at the hospital. The staff does a tremendous job and it's important to know that those who served our country are getting the best possible care."
The salute continued at the ballpark that night, when Sergeant First Class Jason Manella was honored as the Veteran of the Game. Manella won the U.S. Army's Non-Commissioned Officer of the Year award for surviving 36 IED attacks. Pitcher Zack Wheeler presented Manella with an American flag that flew over Citi Field and a team autographed Mets camouflage jersey.
David Wright, Curtis Granderson, Dillon Gee and all the Mets headed to Manhattan after Opening Day to raise money for two worthy causes at the annual Mets Welcome Home Dinner. More than $500,000 was raised for the Katz Institute for Women's Health, The Katz Women's Hospitals of the North Shore-LIJ Health System and the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society.
Following the Mets home opener against the Washington Nationals on March 31, Mets players, coaches and the entire front-office headed into the heart of New York City to the New York Hilton for the annual Mets Welcome Home Dinner. The fundraiser supports the Mets Foundation, which donates all proceeds to the Katz Institute for Women's Health, The Katz Women's Hospitals of the North Shore-LIJ Health System and the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society.
This year, thanks to the generous support of the almost 1,000 fans who attended the dinner, the Mets Foundation was able to donate more than $500,000 to the worthy charities.
SNY's Ron Darling and Gary Cohen co-hosted the event, which started off with a cocktail hour that included Edgardo Alfonzo, John Franco and Mookie Wilson mingling in the crowd and photo booths for attendees to take pictures. Fans had the opportunity to bid on unique Mets experiences and memorabilia including throwing out the ceremonial first pitch at Citi Field and a pre-game catch with a player.
Every year, the Mets honor an individual with the Ya Gotta Believe Award, recognizing someone associated with the Mets family who has shown an exceptional commitment to the spirit to believe that anything is possible.
Mets Captain David Wright introduced this year's recipient, Tod Tillotson, who lost his hearing at the age of 5. Now in his 51st season with the organization, he has worn many different hats over the years starting in the mailroom, working in the ticket office, a quick stop in ballpark operations, before ultimately returning to where it all started in the mailroom. Tillotson inspired his friends, classmates and teachers to follow their dreams and not to place limitations on their aspirations just because they were hearing impaired. It is for those reasons, and his years of dedication to the organization, that it was an easy choice naming him this year's award winner.
The night concluded with fans young and old lining up for autographs from their favorite players before heading home in nearby glow of the Empire State Building, which was lit in orange and blue in celebration of the event. A great night was had by all, and this was the proper way to celebrate the start of the new baseball season.
More than 8,000 students from New York, New Jersey and Connecticut gathered at Citi Field for the eighth annual "Weather Education Day" hosted by the Mets and PIX11.
Students enjoyed a pre-game meteorology lesson starting from PIX11 weather experts Mr. G and Linda Church. The pair engaged the kids in an interactive program about weather patterns and phenomenon, discussed some the extreme weather we have experienced in recent months and took them behind the scenes at the PIX11 weather center.
Mr. Met and the Pepsi Party Patrol were also on hand to entertain students and fire t-shirts into the crowd. At the conclusion of program, the students watched the Mets defeat the Cardinals 4-1.
The Mets, the Baseball Tomorrow Fund and the SNY PlayBall Program teamed up to hold a field maintenance clinic at Citi Field to instruct 60 coaches, groundskeepers and athletic directors from New York, New Jersey and Connecticut. Bill Deacon, the Mets Director of Field Operations & Landscaping, led the clinic, which will help attendees better maintain youth fields throughout the region. As part of the program, the Baseball Tomorrow Fund awarded two $5,000 field maintenance grants to purchase field maintenance equipment, supplies or services.
The Mets teamed up with Autism Speaks for the 12th annual Autism Awareness Day to raise money and awareness for the autism community.
The day featured a pre-game party with autism friendly activities, including martial arts skills, yoga and art therapy. The Left Field Landing was designated as an exclusive area for fans with autistic family members and lowered the volume in the section and made other fan-friendly adjustments. In addition, the Cozy Corner in the Bullpen Plaza provided a quiet area for children in need of break from the game.
June 13 - Mets and Baseball Tomorrow Fund Equipment Drive
Donate your your gently used baseball gloves, bats and balls at Citi Field on Friday, June 13!
June 23 - Mets Blood Drive with the New York Blood Center
The annual summer blood drive takes place Monday, June 23 at the Caesars Club from 10:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m. All donors will receive a voucher for two tickets to a 2014 Mets game. Donors must be 17 years of age, weigh at least 110 lbs and be in good health.
July 11-13 - Mets Food Drive presented by Hain Celestial