Hall of Famer Rusty Staub to throw out first pitch on Mets Opening Day

The New York Mets today announced that Mets Hall of Famer Rusty Staub will throw out the ceremonial first pitch on Opening Day, this Monday, April 1 prior to the 1:10 p.m. game vs. the San Diego Padres.

Staub, who turns 69 this Monday, was one of the stars of the 1973 National League champions Mets. He hit three home runs in the '73 NLCS vs. Cincinnati in a dramatic five-game series and batted .423 with six RBI during the World Series vs. Oakland.

"It's a thrill to represent my teammates from the 40th anniversary of our N.L. Championship club," said Staub. "It's particularly special given the others who will be on the field that day -- the heroes in the Sandy relief effort. I was born in New Orleans and saw what storms can do to a region."

Staub is considered one of the finest humanitarians to play the game. He established the New York Police and Fire Widows and Children's Benefit Fund in 1986 and has raised over $150 million and his own Rusty Staub Foundation has raised money assisting many charities in the Tri-State area.

The Mets will honor heroes and volunteers who have played an integral role in the response to Hurricane Sandy in a pre-game, on-field ceremony that begins at 12:30 p.m. More than 500 first responders will be honored and the Mets have donated 1,000 Opening Day tickets to citizens who were heroic in their response to Sandy, and those who were affected by the devastation.

Emmy Rossum - singer, actress and star of Showtime's Shameless - will perform the National Anthem backed by 50 choir members from the Scholars' Academy School Chorus from the Rockaways

Keith Carradine, Allison Case, Kathleen Monteleone and David Larsen -- stars in the popular Broadway show "Hands on a Hardbody" -- will perform God Bless America. The popular show opened on March 21 and is based on the 1997 documentary of 10 hard-luck Texas who fight to keep one hand on a brand-new truck in order to win it.

Standing Room Only tickets start at $45 and are on sale at Mets.com; by phone at (718) 507-TIXX and at the Citi Field Ticket Windows. The Mets encourage fans to take mass transit to Opening Day at Citi Field. For more details visit www.mta.info.