At every home game at Citi Field, the Mets salute the "Veteran of the Game," presented by First Data. A player presents the honoree with an American flag that flew over Citi Field and Citi Vision plays a segment showcasing the soldier's achievements while serving in the military.
Mets Chairman & CEO Fred Wilpon and private citizens created Welcome Back Veterans, a national public awareness and fundraising initiative that addresses the mental health needs of America's returning war veterans and their families. Major League Baseball, Major League Baseball Advanced Media and the McCormick Foundation working with University Hospitals throughout the country, support the program, which provides returning veterans the quality medical treatment they deserve.
Mets pitcher Steven Matz started Tru32 presented by SecureWatch 24 as a way to say thank you to first responders of the FDNY, NYPD and military. Steven and the Mets invite 32 true heroes out to the ballpark during the season to watch batting practice, receive a Tru32 t-shirt, and engage in a meet and greet with the left-hander from Long Island.
This season the Mets and Steven honored two first responders who were killed in the line of duty. The family of FDNY firefighter William Tolley along with 50 firefighters from Engine 286 Ladder 135 in Glendale were invited to Citi Field for a special day. Mets COO Jeff Wilpon and Steven presented the firehouse with a framed team-signed jersey in honor of Tolley, who served 14 years with the FDNY.
A few weeks later, the Mets and Steven did the same for the family and colleagues of NYPD Detective Miosotis Familia, a 12-year veteran. Familia's three children along with police officers from the 46th Precinct in the Bronx were invited to Citi Field. The group was treated to a pre-game dinner where Robert Gsellman and Seth Lugo, who stepped in for Steven who was pitching that night, presented the precinct with a framed team-signed jersey in honor of Officer Familia.
Mets Chairman and CEO Fred Wilpon, General Manager Sandy Alderson and the team along with Mr. Met visited Walter Reed National Military Medical Center in Bethesda, Maryland. Players signed autographs, posed for photos, and shared a meal with the members of the military. Some Mets players enjoyed a game of air hockey and shot hoops with some of the children at the event, even letting them win a game or two.
Mets General Manager Sandy Alderson and Mets Hall of Famer Mookie Wilson visited the Brooklyn VA to thank veterans for their service and to talk all things baseball. Sandy and Mookie took questions from the audience, posed for photos and signed autographs. Brooklyn Cyclones executives and mascot Sandy the Seagull also joined the visit and gave out Cyclones hats to go along with Mets t-shirts.
The Mets continued their tradition of visiting firehouses every year since the 9/11 attacks to honor and remember the brave men and women of the FDNY who sacrificed their lives to help others during the tragic event. This year Chasen Bradford, Brandon Nimmo, Kevin Plawecki and Paul Sewald visited firefighters in Engine 219 Ladder 105 in Prospect Heights, Brooklyn. The firehouse lost seven members on September 11.
The players toured the firehouse, sat in the fire trucks, tried on gear and viewed the firehouse's 9/11 memorial. The members of the firehouse received t-shirts and tickets to an upcoming game.
Members from the five branches of the U.S. Military were invited to Citi Field for the third annual Mets Military Softball Classic presented by First Data. The Army, Navy, Air Force, Marines and Coast Guard all competed in a round robin softball tournament on the field before a Mets game. The Navy/Coast Guard team took home the trophy with a tournament best record. General Manager Sandy Alderson, a retired Marine, along with several Mets players greeted all the participants and presented each one of them with Mets Challenge Coins in appreciation for their service. Following all the action, members of the military and their families enjoyed a buffet in the Bullpen Plaza and watched the lunar eclipse along with the team.
The Mets invited the families of FDNY EMT Yadira Arroyo and NYPD Detective Steven McDonald, who both passed away in 2017, to honor the fallen heroes before the start of the game on Opening Day. Four of Arroyo's children were present alongside McDonald's son and wife. The Arroyo brothers were given jerseys with the number 26 on the back to signify Station 26 in the Bronx where their mother, a 14-year veteran, was assigned. The McDonalds wore jersey number 104 which was Detective McDonald's badge number.
A moment of silence was held to pay tribute to FDNY EMT Arroyo and NYPD Detective McDonald. After the moment of silence, one of the Arroyo sons took the mound with McDonald's son to throw out the ceremonial first pitch simultaneously while Mets captain David Wright and Bronx native T.J. Rivera served as catchers. It was a fitting tribute to two heroes who dedicated their lives to serving and helping our city.
The Mets invited the Fahy family to Spring Training to enjoy baseball and the warm weather in Florida. The Fahy children were honorary Mets for the four days they spent at Spring Training, continuing a relationship with the team that began in 2016, shortly after their father, FDNY Battalion Chief Michael Fahy, was killed in a house explosion while on duty.
Sandy Alderson, David Wright and other players enjoyed different activities with the family that included: dinner, mini golf and participating in the team stretch and batting practice before a game. The trip was capped off by bowling alongside Michael Conforto and Wilmer Flores. Conforto may have had the high score of the day, but the Fahy Family was the big winner.