The New York Mets, in partnership with Citi, completed their second annual Teammates in the Community week, on Friday, June 3 which was designed to honor our nation's military through a weeklong series of events. Mets players, front-office staff and Citi executives participated in programs during the week with active military personnel and veterans.
The military theme for Teammates in the Community week builds off of the Mets' ongoing commitment to support our troops through the "Welcome Back Veterans" program, a national public awareness and fundraising initiative that addresses the mental health and employment needs of America's returning war veterans and their families. The Mets raise awareness of the program by saluting a "Veteran of the Game" at each Mets home game.
It was a memorable start to the Mets and Citi's Teammates in the Community Week as Sandy Alderson, Jason Isringhausen, Mike Pelfrey and Justin Turner met with active military service personnel before participating in the annual Memorial Day Commemoration on the deck of the Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum in New York City.
After sharing breakfast with the service men and women whom participated in the ceremony, Jason, Mike and Justin looked on as Sandy, a former Marine, was accorded the honor of laying a commemorative wreath in remembrance of those who have died serving our nation. A 3-volley salute, duel taps and a military flyover completed the ceremonies.
The New York Mets wheelchair softball team put on an exhibition in parking lot D for Mets fans to enjoy as they entered Citi Field to watch the Mets take on the Pittsburgh Pirates. The game was coordinated by the Wheelchair Sports Federation, a national non-profit organization that provides opportunities for disabled adults and youth to play sports recreationally and competitively.
Carlos Beltran, Tim Byrdak, Nick Evans, Dillon Gee, Scott Hairston, Ronny Paulino, Ruben Tejada and coaches Dave Hudgens and Dan Warthen got a first-hand look at the sport, joining pre-game batting and fielding practice as they attempted to perform as well as our wheelchair Mets.
For information about how you can volunteer or participate in wheelchair sports, log on to wheelchairsportsfederation.org.
Terry Collins, Jason Bay, Josh Thole and David Wright were joined by armed forces personnel and Citi for a lighting ceremony in the lobby of the Empire State Building.
David manned the switch that lit the Empire State Building in the colors of our country on the north and south sides and those of the New York Mets on the east and west in recognition of the Mets and Citi's Teammates in the Community Week.
After the Mets exciting victory over the Pittsburgh Pirates, four more teams took the field as Mets and Citi's Teammates in the Community week continued.
Squads from the Air Force, Army, Marines and Navy played softball games on two fields set up in the left- and right-field corners of Citi Field as Jonathan Niese, Bobby Parnell, Pedro Beato, Chris Capuano, Jason Pridie, Ken Oberkfell and Mookie Wilson lent their support or their bat to the lineup.
Navy prevailed with a 9-3 victory over the Marines in the championship game.
The final event of the Mets and Citi's Teammates in the Community week took place at the Manhattan campus of the VA NY Harbor Healthcare System, which proudly serves the men and women who have served our nation.
Mets general manager Sandy Alderson, coaches Chip Hale and Jon Debus and Daniel Murphy toured the hospital -- talking baseball with patients, signing autographs and posing for photographs.