Updated 12:15 PM
David Wright on Wednesday joined New York City mayor Michael Bloomberg and former Mets favorites in kicking off this year’s All-Star Game festivities at City Hall, with less than three months to go before the Midsummer Classic at Citi Field.
Wright was named Major League Baseball’s official spokesman for the T-Mobile All-Star FanFest, to be held at the Jacob K. Javits Center from July 12-16, while former Mets Edgardo Alfonzo, John Franco and Mookie Wilson were anointed All-Star ambassadors.
“All-Star FanFest is the world’s largest baseball fan event and is a great experience for the whole family,” Wright said in a statement. “Just like New York City, FanFest has something for everyone, and I am proud to be a part of the home team as we host this exciting event.”
As FanFest’s official spokesperson, Wright will help to generate public awareness for the event and make appearances in support of it. Alfonzo, Franco and Wilson, meanwhile, will take part in an array of All-Star events leading up to and throughout MLB All-Star Week.
Some attractions include:
- The Diamond – Located at the center of T-Mobile All-Star FanFest, this attraction features daily clinics and appearances by MLB players, managers and other experts. Past appearances have included George Brett, Tony Gwynn, Torii Hunter, Derek Jeter, Cal Ripken, Jr. and many other MLB greats
- Legends Autograph Program – Free autographs from Hall of Famers and MLB legends. Players such as Andre Dawson, Rollie Fingers, Ferguson Jenkins and Juan Marichal have previously signed for fans at T-Mobile All-Star FanFest
- National Baseball Hall of Fame & Museum – Take a stroll through Baseball’s glorious past and experience the history of the national pastime with one of the largest collections of artifacts on loan from the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum in Cooperstown
- The Negro Leagues – A compelling visual journey back in time, the Negro Leagues attraction brings to life the heroic history of some of the game’s proudest and most talented players
- Hometown Heroes – Hometown Heroes showcases the New York Mets history, roots in the community and promise for the future
- World’s Largest Baseball – What better way to welcome families to the largest baseball fan event in the world than with the World’s Largest Baseball? The signature white leather, red-laced ball measures 12 feet in diameter and features the signatures of baseball greats such as Hank Aaron, Rod Carew, Derek Jeter, Nolan Ryan, Ozzie Smith and Ted Williams
The All-Star Game will return to Queens this summer for the first time since 1964, when the Mets hosted it during Shea Stadium’s inaugural season. New York City has played host to the Midsummer Classic eight times, most recently at the old Yankee Stadium in 2008.
Citi Field opened in 2009 after more than a decade of planning and construction; its completion coincided with the demolition of Shea Stadium, which the Mets called home for 45 seasons. Owner Fred Wilpon recently called the All-Star Game a chance to “show off the ballpark,” which was constructed to resemble old Ebbets Field in Brooklyn.
New York City has hosted the All-Star Game nine times, but this year’s game will be the first in Queens since 1964. New York last hosted the Midsummer Classic in 2008 at old Yankee Stadium.
Including the space in 54 luxury boxes, six clubs and restaurants, Citi Field can hold up to 41,922 fans at maximum capacity. Opened in 2009, the ballpark is within steps of the Citi Field-Willets Point stop on the New York City subway’s elevated No. 7 line.