Ralph Kiner To Throw Ceremonial First Pitch For Mets Home Opener

 It's Opening Day at Citi Field as the Mets usher in a new era at their new ballpark in Queens on Monday night.

More than 140 Veterans from All Five U.S. Armed Services on Field for Pre-Game Presentation of a Giant Flag; Michael Amante to Sing the National Anthem

FLUSHING, N.Y., April 6, 2011 – The New York Mets today announced that original Met and Mets Hall of Fame broadcaster Ralph Kiner will throw out the ceremonial first pitch prior to the Mets Home Opener at Citi Field, this Friday, April 8 when the Mets host the Washington Nationals at 4:10 p.m.

Kiner, inducted into the National Baseball Hall of Fame in 1975, celebrates his 50th season broadcasting Mets games this year. Kiner was part of the original Mets broadcast team which included Bob Murphy and Lindsey Nelson. In 2002, Shea Stadium’s TV booth was named in Kiner’s honor and Citi Field’s home television booth also bears his name. He was inducted into the Mets Hall of Fame in 1984.

More than 140 veterans representing all five U.S. Armed Services – Army, Air Force, Coast Guard, Marines and Navy – will be on the field during the pre-game presentation of a giant American flag. Michael Amante, a New York native and an acclaimed tenor, will sing the National Anthem prior to the game.

The first 25,000 fans in attendance will also take home a Mr. Met Bobblehead presented by Citi.

The Mets are encouraging fans to take mass transit to Mets home games at Citi Field this season. The 7 train is the faster, greener way to travel to the game, with express service to Manhattan on Saturdays and Sundays. The Mets-Willets Point stop is adjacent to the Jackie Robinson Rotunda. The Long Island Rail Road’s regularly scheduled Port Washington trains will make stops at Mets-Willets Point Station with direct train service from Penn Station, Woodside and all other stations on the Port Washington Branch. For those traveling from other branches on Long Island, fans can reach Citi Field by changing at Woodside. For those coming from the northern suburbs, all Metro-North trains on the Hudson, Harlem and New Haven lines connect with the 7 train at Grand Central Terminal. For more details visit www.mta.info and click on “Take the Train to the Game”™ or call New York City Transit at 718-330-1234, Long Island Rail Road at 718-217-LIRR or Metro-North at 212-532-4900.

On Opening Day, all gates will open 2½ hours before game time. For gate openings for all other games, visit Mets.com.

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