QUEENS, New York – They stood out in right field, wearing protective glasses, looking up at a solar eclipse – but it wasn’t the New York Mets. Servicemen and women took to the field on Monday afternoon for the Third Annual Mets Military Softball Classic.
Members of the Army, Air Force, Marines, Coast Guard, and Navy were divided into teams for a tournament style matchup. Different color tee’s and service were distributed prior to the start.
“It’s a great opportunity to be here, last year was the first time we [Army] participated, it was a great time, [and] the Mets treated us outstandingly,” said staff sergeant, John Femenella of the U.S. Army.
As family and friends gathered at the Bullpen Plaza, New York Mets General Manager, Sandy Alderson, showed his support for all the participants.
“The opportunity to mingle with them [military servicemen and women] and have conversations and enjoy the day together is really great,” Alderson said.
“It was awesome,” one onlooker said, as fans watched and cheered from the stands.
“The last two years has been just a wonderful event and I know that all of our service members really enjoy it too. Every year when I start working with the Mets to coordinate this, it’s always one of the highlights that I know all of the families and service members really really enjoy,” said Lt. Commander, Lauren Cole, Director of the Navy Office of Information East in Manhattan.
And, although you may not get to share a special solar eclipse moment with New York Mets players like Brandon Nimmo or Jacob Degrom, hopes to continue the event next year are already in people’s minds.