Seaver to throw out first pitch at Citi Field

April 11, 2009 4:16:31 PM PDT
Tom Seaver enjoyed many of his greatest moments on the mound at Shea Stadium. Now, he'll help the New York Mets christen Citi Field. The Hall of Fame right-hander is slated to throw out the ceremonial first pitch to former New York catcher Mike Piazza when the Mets open their new ballpark Monday night with a game against San Diego.

"It should be a very exciting day," Seaver said Saturday on a conference call. "A new era."

Seaver was on hand for the closing ceremonies at Shea Stadium last September. He and Piazza, perhaps the two biggest stars in team history, shut the center-field gate together, ending the festivities with a symbolic gesture.

"I'm probably more excited about this than the last pitch at Shea Stadium, believe it or not," Seaver said. "It sounds like a great place to play in and a great place for fans. It brings the element of history forward."

Seaver pitched for the Mets from 1967-77 and again in '83. "The Franchise" owns club records for wins, ERA, strikeouts and innings pitched.

Seaver said he still has vivid memories of walking into Shea Stadium for the first time because he was taken aback by how big it was. He's looking forward to getting inside $800 million Citi Field, and is curious about the park's configuration and asymmetrical dimensions.

"I've only seen the shell of the ballpark," Seaver said. "One of the things that I'm interested in seeing is the clubhouse, too.

Our clubhouse was pretty industrial, as you well know. It will be interesting to see all the bells and whistles."


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