{}
CLOSE

Now Commenting On:

Transplant recipient throws first pitch

Transplant recipient throws first pitch

|
Before Wednesday night's game, Maryann Steinbock got the ultimate opportunity for a lifelong Mets fan -- the chance to throw out the first pitch.

The 59-year-old's big night came as a result of another big night, one that saved her life.

Steinbock didn't even know how close she was to liver failure due to cancer before she got a very special gift in February -- a new liver.

In the middle of a snowstorm on Feb. 26, Steinbock got a call from doctors, letting her know that after eight months of waiting, a liver was ready for her. The only challenge was getting from her Nassau County home to the Bronx hospital where doctors would perform the transplant amid the mounting inches of snow.

A Nassau County patrol car led a motorcade, including a helicopter escort, from Steinbock's home to Montefiore Medical Center. She was so nervous that she talked nonstop about the Mets to keep her calm.

The Mets had provided a stabilizing force in Steinbock's life before the transplant. She and her girlfriends attended 40 games last season, as a way to take her mind off her treatments.

"I really didn't know how sick I was," Steinbock said. "Denial is a beautiful place sometimes. The only thing that really kept me going was the Mets --- I schlepped up here all the time."

Thanks to her transplant's success, Steinbock was back at Citi Field for Opening Day. Flanked by the officers who transported her that night, she threw out the game's first pitch Wednesday. Steinbock could barely contain her excitement.

"I've been with the Mets since '62," she said. "I've been there for all the World Series. I have pictures from when Lenny Dykstra hit the home run to win the pennant. I'm so thankful for everybody at Montefiore and for the Mets."

-- Bailey Stephens

{}
{}
Boys and Girls Club of America

©2014 MLBAM, LP. All rights reserved.

The following are trademarks or service marks of Major League Baseball entities and may be used only with permission of Major League Baseball Properties, Inc. or the relevant Major League Baseball entity: Major League, Major League Baseball, MLB, the silhouetted batter logo, World Series, National League, American League, Division Series, League Championship Series, All-Star Game, and the names, nicknames, logos, uniform designs, color combinations, and slogans designating the Major League Baseball clubs and entities, and their respective mascots, events and exhibitions. Use of the Website signifies your agreement to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy (updated May 24, 2013).

View MLB.com in English | En Español