Celebrate K-Rod signing with the Mets

Celebrate K-Rod signing with the Mets

A new era of Mets baseball starts in April at a beautiful new ballpark, and Francisco Rodriguez will be on the mound. Here are many of the ways you can be involved in the excitement, which is going to grow each day:

Season-ticket deposits. Fresh off a season in which he destroyed the Major League single-season saves record with 62, K-Rod has signed with the Mets for three years and $37 million. Maybe he will be in a save situation when the Mets open Citi Field against the Padres on April 13. Place your deposit now to become a 2009 season-ticket holder, and start dreaming. Will he throw the last pitch of a World Series?

Customized K-Rod jersey. "Francisco Rodriguez" is now a choice in that familiar drop-down menu on the Personalized Jerseys area of the Mets.com Shop. He will be wearing No. 75. Be one of the first fans to order an authentic home jersey with his announced number. It will quickly become one of the hottest holiday gifts around baseball.

75 backwards is 57. They could be the perfect bookend numbers around Citi Field in 2009. It was just a year ago that the Mets acquired the player widely considered the best starting pitcher in baseball. Now they have paired him with the dominant closer in the game. If you're thinking combo, you might as well make sure you have a Johan Santana jersey in your closet, too.

Become a founding member of Club Mets. This is part of the "new" era, too. For only $19.95, get an official 2009 membership ID card and welcome letter from the Mets, a complimentary MLB.com Gameday Audio subscription, a 15-percent discount at Mets Clubhouse Shops, special Mets.com Shop discounts through the season and more. It also means you get official game notes at your Citi Field seat for each game, and that's a good way to keep track of Rodriguez's latest numbers.

Caseworks Mets Boardroom Display Case. This is how to display an autographed baseball. Now all you have to do is go out there and get K-Rod's signature. The best way to do that is ...

Go to Spring Training. Rodriguez will report in February with pitchers and catchers to the Mets camp in Port St. Lucie, Fla., and then he will start making appearances in his first Grapefruit League season. The more relaxed atmosphere makes it easier to get star players' autographs. Of course, you also can be on the lookout for an autographed baseball that inevitably will be at the Mets.com Shop.

Mets Toolbar. Take K-Rod with you wherever you go. Just download your new-and-improved toolbar for free (no personal information) and enjoy all the benefits that are making this such a popular app for other Mets fans. Among those features, it will give you Mets news and alerts immediately, and tailored to Rodriguez info if you want. It works on IE and Firefox browsers and comes with an uninstaller just in case.

Trading cards. Bid at the MLB.com Auction on Rodriguez rookie cards. While you are there to help usher in the future with K-Rod, jump into the bidding for those tremendous items now listed in the Shea Memorabilia Auction. Or you can be guaranteed to ...

Own a piece of history. The Mets and the City of New York are giving all Mets fans the opportunity to purchase Shea Stadium seat backs, which will be encased in a black shadow box and adorned with a Shea Stadium decal. Find out all about that, and enjoy this chance to embrace baseball tradition while looking forward to the future.

Upload your own photo. Another excellent holiday gift choice, this service lets you upload an image of yourself and put it on a wide array of Mets products -- wall clocks, coasters, coffee mugs, posters, frames and more. You know someone's going to put a K-Rod picture on one of those.

StubHub tickets. The official fan-to-fan secondary ticketing marketplace of the Mets currently features tickets to all 2009 games at Citi Field. Whether buying or selling, that is an additional opportunity to help ensure that fans who want to see Rodriguez pitch there next season can do so.

Start a Mets MLBlog. Everyone can announce and dissect this news now. You're talking about K-Rod anyway. You might as well have your own official, free MLBlog complete with the club's marks and logo. Then find other Mets MLBloggers there and be part of the biggest baseball community.

"Our goal from day one was to improve the bullpen, and I cannot think of a better reliever that we'd be able to sign than Francisco Rodriguez," Mets general manager Omar Minaya said in announcing the signing. "The stats speak for themselves on him, not only breaking the record in saves this year, but the consistency that he's done that, his drive, his youth, so we're excited to be able to have Francisco Rodriguez, known as K-Rod, to join the New York Mets."

It will be a new era at a new place called Citi Field, with a new closer on the hill.

Mark Newman is enterprise editor of MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.