Mets pitcher Steven Matz honors first responders at Citi Field
It may not look like it, given where he stands now—60 feet and six inches from home plate—but New York Mets pitcher Steven Matz has always wanted to be a firefighter when he grew up.
“I just like that type of work,” he said.
Matz, who is very generous with his time, began the Tru32 initiative this year. Along with the Mets, the Long Island pitcher, who is number 32, wanted to show his thanks to the servicemen and women throughout the 2016 season by inviting 32 first responders to each Wednesday ball game at Citi Field.
“We just want to take a step back and thank you for everything you do,” he said to the audience of military men and women who were being honored that day. “We do it for the NYPD, FDNY and for all military.”
When asked about the death of Detective Brian Moore, a Long Island native who served with the NYPD, Matz spoke on how police officers are being portrayed.
“It’s really sad. I have some friends who are New York City police officers, and it’s really devastating to hear about that type of stuff,” he said, adding that it was all the more reason to begin Tru32 as a thank you. “It’s really just to recognize these people and just for them to enjoy the day. The police officers have been getting a lot of bad raps lately in the media, so to just recognize that they really are the true heroes.”
The press conference, which was held at Citi Field, invited the Tru32 honorees to watch batting practice and participate in a meet and greet with Matz before the game. He was more than happy to sign shirts, which were given out to all honorees emblazoned with “Tru32” on the front, baseballs and take photos and even a few selfies with the guests and their children, friends and family members.
After the meet and greet, the responders enjoyed the game at field level seating as they watched a special feature of themselves on the big screen, so the crowd of fans could thank and salute them as well.
“To reflect where Tru32 comes from, you guys are the true heroes,” said Matz. “A lot of kids call us their heroes, and I know that you’re just doing your job, but we wanted to appreciate all that you do.”