NEW YORK -- As has become their Sept. 11 custom, the Mets took the field for batting practice Tuesday sporting hats from various New York City service departments that helped with 9/11 relief efforts. Mets players emerged from the clubhouse wearing hats from the NYPD, FDNY, PAPD, EMS Court Officers, OEM, Sanitation Department and the Department of Corrections.
Though the Mets did not petition Major League Baseball to wear the hats during the game, they will wear them again on their plane ride back from Milwaukee this weekend. They will also autograph the hats and auction them off at mets.com/gameused, with proceeds distributed to 9/11-related organizations. The auction will begin Wednesday and run through Sept. 23 at 8 p.m.
In addition, the Gies family threw out Tuesday's ceremonial first pitch to honor FDNY firefighter Ronnie Gies of Squad 288 in Maspeth, Queens, who lost his life on 9/11. Two of Gies' three sons are FDNY firefighters, and the third is training to become one.
"It's one of those dates in history where we all know where we were when the attacks came," said Mets manager Terry Collins, who attended the first game played at Yankee Stadium following 9/11. "The bravery that those guys showed ... I'm not sure that I could have done that."
Collins held a team meeting prior to Tuesday's game and told his players to speak to any first responders in attendance if they could, "because it was a life-changing incident, and certainly it means a lot for us to wear the hats for a while."