Tag Archives: New York Mets

PHOTOS: Mets fans bring the energy to first playoff game at Citi Field

| rpozarycki@queenscourier.com

THE COURIER/Photos by Robert Pozarycki

Nine years of pent-up angst and anticipation among Mets fans young and old erupted at Citi Field during the ballpark’s first-ever playoff game on Monday night.

From across Queens and the tri-state area, the sellout crowd of 44,276 watched the third game of the Division Series against the Los Angeles Dodgers, now a grudge match following Saturday’s controversial loss that centered around Dodgers infielder Chase Utley’s takeout slide at second base that left Mets shortstop Ruben Tejada with a broken leg.

By the thousands, the crowd booed Utley — who is appealing a two-game suspension and was not in the starting lineup — at the top of their lungs for 10 straight seconds during the pre-game introductions. Conversely, Mets fans gave a limping Tejada a raucous ovation when he emerged from the Mets dugout.

The bitter feelings from Saturday’s game aside, fans at Citi Field were excited to be part of not only the Mets’ playoff run but also the first-ever postseason game at the ballpark that opened in 2009.

It was also “Harvey Day” at Citi Field, as it is every time Mets starting pitcher Matt Harvey takes the mound, which meant plenty of Batman mask-wearing fans were on hand to cheer on their hero nicknamed “The Dark Knight.”

“It’s amazing,” said brothers Nick and Manny Kaloudis of Whitestone. “We’re so happy to have playoff baseball back in Queens.”

Father-and-son fans Christopher and Chris Buckley brought out a banner supporting the Mets that they had made anticipating postseason baseball in 2007 and 2008 that ultimately never came. “It’s been a long time coming,” Christopher Buckley said.

Johnny Finn and the Suarezes — Edwin, Ed and Edwin Jr. — came from Jamaica and Briarwood to cheer their home team on, while the Rohs family of Whitestone — including 3-year-old Riley — got the chance to enjoy their first playoff game together.

“She’s been a Mets fan for three years but hasn’t suffered much,” Riley’s father, Robert Roh, joked.

As for the game, Harvey fell behind early as the Dodgers scored three times in the top of the second. The Mets responded in the bottom half of the inning with four runs, powered by a three-run, bases-clearing double from outfielder Curtis Granderson.

Catcher Travis d’Arnaud added a two-run home run in the top of the third, and outfielder Yoenis Cespedes sent the crowd into a frenzy with a three-run homer in the top of the fourth, extending the Mets lead to 10-3 and putting the game out of reach.

The Mets wound up winning 13-7, their offensive output setting a team record. Should they win Game 4 tonight at Citi Field, the Mets will advance to the National League Championship Series. Rookie Steven Matz will take the mound for the Mets against the Dodgers’ Clayton Kershaw.


New York Mets clinch first playoff spot in nine years

By Queens Courier Staff | editorial@queenscourier.com

Photo via Twitter/@Mets

Believe it, Mets fans: there will be playoff baseball at Citi Field in October.

The New York Mets captured the National League Eastern Division title Saturday evening with a 10-2 victory over the Cincinnati Reds on the road, securing the team’s first playoff appearance since 2006.

Citi Field was empty Saturday, but it will be full of excited fans next month when it hosts postseason baseball for the first time in its history. The Mets are currently projected to face the Los Angeles Dodgers, leaders of the NL Western Division, in the best-of-five Division Series, though it has yet to be decided which team will get home-field advantage. The regular season ends on Oct. 4.

For the Mets and their long-suffering fans, this moment of euphoria has been a long time coming. Little had gone right for the franchise since they lost the National League pennant in 2006 to the St. Louis Cardinals. The last nine seasons had been filled with season-ending collapses, on- and off-field embarrassments, injuries to key players and one losing season after another.

Fittingly, David Wright — the team captain who had been with the club through it all — helped ice the proverbial cake with a three-run home run in the top of the ninth.

The team’s fortunes turned around this year on the strength of young starting pitchers Matt Harvey, Jacob de Grom, Noah Syndergaard and Steven Matz. After a hot start to the season, however, the Mets found themselves in late July with a 49-48 record and in second place behind the Washington Nationals.

Mets General Manager Sandy Alderson then made several trades to strengthen the team’s two weak points: the starting lineup and bullpen. The Mets picked up infielders Juan Uribe and Kelly Johnson from the Atlanta Braves, then reliever Tyler Clippard from the Oakland Athletics and, at the July 31 trading deadline, outfielder Yoenis Cespedes from the Detroit Tigers.

The revamped Mets went on a roll in August, sweeping a three-game series from the Nationals at Citi Field, vaulting themselves into first place for good, eventually growing a nine-game lead. Despite a mid-September slump for the Mets that saw the lead shrink to six games, the Nationals couldn’t capitalize on the Mets’ losses.


PHOTOS: New York Mets pay visit to Woodside firehouse

By Queens Courier Staff | editorial@queenscourier.com

Photos via Facebook/New York Mets

The hottest team in baseball took time out of their pursuit of a pennant Tuesday afternoon to visit members of Engine Co. 292 and Rescue 4 in Woodside.

New York Mets players Michael Cuddyer, Steven Matz, Daniel Murphy and Bobby Parnell joined the team’s chief operating officer, Jeff Wilpon, and Fire Commissioner Daniel Nigro for the visit to the Queens Boulevard firehouse, where they met with active and retired firefighters and family members.

The visit was part of the Mets’ ongoing support of the Fire Department and the FDNY Foundation. Since the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks — which claimed the lives of 343 firefighters — members of the club have made trips to firehouses in September to both mark the anniversary of the attacks and offer tokens of gratitude to New York’s Bravest.

During Tuesday’s trip, the Mets distributed T-shirts to firefighters and enjoyed lunch with them. They also paused at the 9/11 memorial within the firehouse to remember those who died in the attacks.

The Mets had their eight-game winning streak last night, but have an 8 1/2-game lead in the National League Eastern Division. They play the Miami Marlins tonight before a three-game series this weekend against their crosstown rival Yankees.


Mets launch website for potential postseason ticket sales

| rpozarycki@queenscourier.com

Photo via Facebook/New York Mets

With the New York Mets in a pennant race for the first time in Citi Field’s history, the team offered some additional hope to its long-suffering fans on Wednesday in launching a website for potential postseason game tickets.

Fans can visit www.mets.com/postseason and register for the opportunity to purchase tickets for October baseball at Citi Field should the Mets advance to the playoffs. Registration is free and there is no obligation to purchase tickets.

Fans have until noon on Sept. 10 to sign up for a chance to buy tickets for a possible National League wild card game or National League Division Series games in Flushing. Once the registration period is complete, the Mets will select registered fans through a lottery, and selected fans will be notified via email thereafter with additional information.

Beyond the Division Series, fans can also register for potential tickets to the National League Championship Series (NLCS) and the World Series. The NLCS registration deadline is noon on Monday, Oct. 5 (the day after the regular season ends), and the World Series deadline is noon on Tuesday, Oct. 13. Both deadlines are listed as applicable and dependent upon the Mets securing their playoff spot, the first time they would do so since 2006.

Coming off their most recent victory over the Philadelphia Phillies, the Mets sit atop the standings in the National League Eastern Division, with the Washington Nationals 6 1/2 games behind in second. The Mets and Nationals square off in D.C. next week in a three-game series, and the two rivals will close out the regular season with a three-game set at Citi Field on Oct. 2 to 4.

Many Met fans hope that the latter series, unlike in previous years, won’t be a must-win for the Amazins.


City drops its appeal of court’s decision against Willets West development

| rpozarycki@queenscourier.com

Photo courtesy of NYC Economic Development Corporation

Updated Friday, Aug. 21, 9:43 a.m.

Plans for the redevelopment of Willets Point took another hit Wednesday, this time from the City of New York.

The de Blasio administration announced it would not participate in an appeal of a State Appellate Court’s decision blocking the construction of Willets West, a million-square-foot mall on the Citi Field parking lot where Shea Stadium once stood. The court declared that the parking lot is city parkland, and that the parties involved did not reach an agreement to replace parkland lost in connection with the project, violating a state mandate.

The withdrawal came after failed negotiations between the city and the project’s main developers — Queens Development Group (QDG), which includes Related Companies and Sterling Equities — over plans to speed up the creation of affordable housing within the larger redevelopment plans for Willets Point. That demand, according to a source familiar with the negotiations, was not viewed by the developers as being economically feasible.

It also marks a stark reversal for the city, which previously supported the mall’s creation under then-Mayor Michael Bloomberg. The city has thus far spent more than $400 million in purchasing land in Willets Point to make way for the neighborhood’s transformation from an industrial hub to a commercial and residential community.

The source, however, claimed the city’s decision was not a matter of philosophical differences between administrations, noting that the city apparently attempted to leverage the impending appeal into the expedited creation of affordable housing at Willets Point.

“They threw out the baby with the bathwater,” the source said, adding that the city was calling upon the developers to “take a leap of faith” and make a commitment to affordable housing at Willets Point without offering secure economic means to get the job done.

Deputy Mayor Alicia Glen, in an official statement, acknowledged that the city desires “significant improvements that would mean that the public would also see a healthy mix of affordable and market-rate housing, delivered on a real time frame.”

“Nearly half a billion dollars is an enormous public investment to make when the only guarantee is a shopping mall. The deal as it stood did not require any affordable housing actually be built,” Glen said. “We know a lot has gone into this project, and we hope that this team will continue to work towards that goal with us.”

Nevertheless, Queens Development Group is pressing on with its efforts to overturn the Appellate Court’s decision on Willets West and the redevelopment of the area as a whole, according to spokesman Phil Singer.

“We are committed to the redevelopment of Willets Point and are confident that our appeal of the Appellate Court’s ruling will be successful,” Singer said in a statement. “The QDG plan, which was overwhelmingly approved by the City Council, provides an additional $3 billion private investment which will finally clean up the long-contaminated land at Willets and provide the facilities and infrastructure for a brand-new neighborhood.”

Regarding the city’s push for affordable housing, Singer indicated the QDG supports the de Blasio administration’s efforts and is “committed to significantly accelerating the housing portion of this plan.”

“But those efforts need to be backed by a financially viable model,” he cautioned.

Opponents of the Willets West plan hailed the city’s withdrawal from the appeal effort.

“I am pleased to hear that the city administration has decided not to appeal the Appellate Division’s unanimous and well-reasoned decision,” said state Senator Tony Avella in a statement. He charged that the developers, by continuing the appeal, “have refused to see the fundamental flaws in the Bloomberg plan in all its variations.”

Shea Stadium, as pictured in 2007.  (Photo via Wikimedia Commons)

Shea Stadium, as pictured in 2007. (Photo via Wikimedia Commons)

The Willets Point saga has gone on for nearly a decade. Back in 2007, the city put forth a multibillion-dollar vision of turning industrial Willets Point into a neighborhood featuring more than 5,000 new apartments, many of which were to be reserved as affordable housing. Businesses in the area, however, banded together in an effort to thwart the city’s acquisition plans; many of them eventually settled and agreed to relocate to the Bronx.

Before putting a shovel in the ground, the city is also required to remediate decades of pollution left by industry there and develop basic infrastructure such as sewer and water lines. Completion of the redevelopment is currently projected for 2026.

Meanwhile, in 2012, the city and Sterling Equities — which owns the New York Mets and Citi Field — announced plans for Willets West, including a large mall, a movie theater complex and a 200-room hotel. Opponents of Willets West filed suit, pointing out that the former Shea Stadium site where the mall is to be built is part of Flushing Meadows Corona Park — a claim that the Queens Supreme Court dismissed in 2014 but the State Appellate Court accepted this year.



Gastropub and beer bar is newest concession stand at Citi Field

By Queens Courier Staff | editorial@queenscourier.com

Photo courtesy of Randolph Group and Entertainment Fusion Group


Mets fans wanted it, and now they’ve got it — after winning the second annual Citi Call-Ups Program, Randolph Beer, an American gastropub and beer bar, will be joining the culinary lineup at Citi Field starting July 23 during the Mets’ first home game after the All-Star break.

The new concession stand will be offering the jerk chicken po’boy, a new take on a traditional southern sandwich crafted just for Citi Field by Randolph Executive Chef Masterful Davis. The stand will also serve Randolph’s collaboration beer, brewed by LIC Beer Project and specially created to go with the sandwich.

The stand will be located on the outfield concourse, near the Shake Shack and Two Boots Pizza stands, and will be open during home games for the rest of the 2015 Mets season.

“We envision a fan at the ballpark holding the jerk chicken po’boy in one hand and a cold beer in the other. It just fit,” said Dave Plate, co-founder and Partner of Randolph Group.

For the second year in a row and in an effort to bring New York’s favorite flavors to Citi Field, Citi nominated four New York City eateries for the Citi Call-Ups Program that fans could vote for in online and in-stadium polls. This year, Randolph Beer beat out Crepes & Delices, Bagel Stuffins by Bantam Bagels, and Zengo.

Since 2007, Randolph Group has aimed to satisfy a wide variety of palates with three distinct locations throughout New York City: Randolph at Broome, a cocktail dive and café; Randolph Beer, an American gastropub and craft beer bar; and Randolph Brooklyn, an eclectic garage bar and restaurant.

“We see Randolph as a New York City institution that has been serving quality cocktails, craft beer, southern soul food and providing an authentic Manhattan vibe for over eight years,” said Hari Kalyan, co-founder and partner of Randolph Group. “We are very excited that the New York fans chose Randolph Beer to become part of Citi Field, another authentic New York institution.”


Get into the stretch at special Citi Field yoga session

| agiudice@ridgewoodtimes.com

COURIER/File photo

Yoga Alliance is giving the seventh-inning stretch a whole new meaning this summer as they host Yoga Day at Citi Field.

Yogis are invited to purchase a $45 ticket to enjoy a one-hour yoga session led by Yoga Alliance-certified instructor Stephanie Armijo on the outfield grass of Citi Field on Aug. 15.

Included in the price of the ticket is free parking for the morning yoga class, plus a ticket for that night’s game as the Mets face off against the Pittsburgh Pirates at 7:10 p.m.

Participants should bring their own mat and bottled water, as the concession stands will not be open. Check-in begins at 8:30 a.m. at the Bullpen Gate and the class begins promptly at 9:30 a.m.

At the end of the one-hour class, participants will need to exit Citi Field and re-enter the stadium at the normal game-day gate opening at 5:10 p.m.

For more information, please contact Christina Andrews of the New York Mets group sales department at 718-559-3069 or candrews@nymets.com.


Donate blood and get free Mets tickets

By Queens Courier Staff | editorial@queenscourier.com

File photo

It’s time to step up to the plate for the New York Blood Center.

Assemblyman Edward C. Braunstein is once again sponsoring a Bayside Community Blood Drive in conjunction with the New York Blood Center on Thursday, Aug. 13.

The drive will take place from 2:30 to 8:30 p.m. at the Bay Terrace Shopping Center at 212th Street and 26th Avenue.

Each donor will receive by mail a pair of tickets to a 2015 Mets game courtesy of the center. The first 60 donors will also receive a voucher for a free pint of soup from Ben’s Kosher Deli as part of its Pint for a Pint program. Additionally, all donors will get free pastries courtesy of Panera Bread and complimentary beverages provided by Waldbaums.

“Each donation helps to save up to three lives,” Braunstein said. “Our hospitals are in need of your assistance, so I hope you will take the time to share this lifesaving gift.”

Eligibility criteria:

  • Bring ID with photo or signature
  • Minimum weight 110 pounds
  • Age 16 to 75 (16-year-olds need parental permission and ages 76 and over need a doctor’s note)
  • Eat well (low fat) and drink plenty of fluids before donating
  • No new tattoos in the last 12 months
  • For medical questions concerning blood donations call 800-688-0900
  • Walk-ins are welcome

For more information on this drive, please call Braunstein’s office at 718-357-3588.


Watch ‘Sharknado 2’ strike Citi Field

By Queens Courier Staff | editorial@queenscourier.com

THE COURIER/File photo


Watch out Mets fans—the Sharknado is back and it’s hitting Citi Field.

Sharknado 2,” the sequel to the fictional made-for-TV movie about a whirlwind so strong it lifts man-eating sharks into the city, will premiere on the Syfy network on Wednesday at 9 p.m.

In the movie, swarming sharks attack humans next to iconic New York City sites, including Citi Field, home of the New York Mets.

As sharks fall out of the sky and water floods the city streets, Ian Ziering, who plays the protagonist, goes around town killing the deadly animals.

“Sharknado 2,” also features Tara Reid, Vivica A. Fox Vivica A. Fox, Mark McGrath and Judah Friedlander.




Queens, Bronx borough presidents make edible wager on Subway Series

| aaltamirano@queenscourier.com


The stakes are going to be deliciously high when the New York Mets and New York Yankees take the field during this year’s Subway Series.

Queens Borough President Melinda Katz and Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr. are wagering an assortment of foods, each from their respective boroughs, based on the results of the four-game series taking place from Monday, May 12 through Thursday, May 15, the two announced Sunday.

If the Mets win more games than the Yankees, then Diaz will send Katz a sample tray of empanadas from Babalu on East Tremont Road and a dozen cannolis from Egidio Pastry Shop, located in Belmont, the Bronx’s Little Italy.

But if the Yankees win, Katz will send Diaz a tray of sandwiches from Leo’s Latticini, also known as Mama’s of Corona. For dessert, Katz will also send pastries from the Omonia Café in Astoria.

“Queens offers an incredibly diverse array of cuisine and has some of the best restaurants in the city, so Borough President Diaz is in for a real treat if the Yankees manage to win the series,” Katz said. “But I fully expect the Mets will win and that I will be enjoying some delicious food from the Bronx.”

Both stakes will be paid out if the two New York baseball teams split the four game series 2-2.

“We have great culinary options in The Bronx, so a Mets victory would certainly be a treat for Borough President Katz,” Diaz said. “But the Yankees are the greatest franchise in baseball history, and I’m sure their decades of dominance will continue through this week.”



Singers compete in Mets annual Anthem Search

| lguerre@queenscourier.com

THE COURIER/Photos by Liam La Guerre

O say can you sing?

The New York Mets hosted the first round of their 2014 Anthem Search on Thursday to find the person who will sing the national anthem at opening day next year.

More than 150 contestants auditioned for the position, giving 60 seconds of their best vocals to a panel of judges.

“It’s the Mets version of American Idol,” said Gary Apple, an SNY broadcaster and judge of the competition. “I think it’s great for the Mets and baseball.”

This year’s Anthem Search is the first time the winner will be allowed to sing on opening day. Past winners choose dates throughout the season to sing.

Many talented singers saw the opportunity as a way to bolster their future singing goals.

“It would be an honor to sing in front of many people and represent the Mets and it would be really challenging and add to my experience in singing,” said 13-year-old Victoria Labban, a resident of Richmond Hill, who has sang at the Apollo Theater in Harlem.

Mets officials said contestants will be called soon after the auditions and be informed if they have made the cut.

The judges gave singers encouragement, but were also tough, because they said performing the anthem in front thousands of fans requires someone who wouldn’t choke up, forget any words, and of course sing well.

“There were definitely some people who should have gone to work and not come here today,” said Skeery Jones, a judge and radio personality for Z100.

In the second round Mets staff will determine a single winner, who will sing in 2014 opening day on March 31, when the Mets host the Washington Nationals.


Mets’ Matt Harvey to undergo elbow surgery, miss 2014 season

| lguerre@queenscourier.com

Photo courtesy of The New York Mets

As if not making the playoffs wasn’t bad enough for Mets fans, the team announced Friday that rookie sensation Matt Harvey will undergo Tommy John surgery, which will force him to miss the 2014 season.

“After further consultation with doctors, Mets pitcher Matt Harvey has elected to have surgery to repair a partial tear of the ulnar collateral ligament in his right elbow. Dr. James Andrews will perform the surgery later this month,” the Mets said.

Harvey was frequently mentioned among the league’s best pitchers during 2013, his official rookie season. He completed the season with a 9-5 record, 2.27 ERA and 191 strikeouts in 178 and 1/3 innings.

The team announced Harvey’s elbow injury following a loss to the Detroit Tigers on August 24, in which Harvey gave up a career-high 13 hits.

Despite the Mets record of 74-88 on the season and third place in the National League East, Harvey was one of the shining stars that gave fans hope for next year. Now that will have to wait another season.



Mike Piazza to be inducted into Mets Hall of Fame

| lguerre@queenscourier.com

File photo

Mike Piazza may have been snubbed by the Major League Baseball Hall of Fame committee this year, but he’ll always be special to the Mets.

In fact the team announced that it will induct Piazza into the Mets Hall of Fame on Fan Appreciation Day on September 29 at Citi Field.

“Mike Piazza reinvigorated our franchise when we acquired him in May, 1998,” said Jeff Wilpon, Mets COO . “Mike is one of the greatest players in our history and we are thrilled to induct him into the Mets Hall of Fame.”

The announcement came hours before Piazza helped his team win the Celebrity and Legends All-Star Softball Game at Citi Field on Sunday.

Piazza will become the 27th member of the Mets Hall of Fame during the induction ceremony prior to the afternoon game against the Milwaukee Brewers on that date.

Piazza played 972 games for the Mets, for eight of his 16-year career in MLB. He had a .308 batting average with 2,127 hits and is the MLB home run leader as a catcher with 427. He hit 220 home runs with the Mets, ranking second in franchise history, behind Darryl Strawberry (252). He ranks first in team history with a .542 slugging percentage and is third in RBI (655). Piazza was a seven-time All-Star with the Mets.

Piazza set a team-record with 124 RBI and hit 40 home runs in 1999 and then finished with 38 home runs and drove in 113 runs in 2000 to win the National League Division Championship and reached the World Series.



Rising Stars of Queens honored

By Queens Courier Staff | editorial@queenscourier.com


The stars aligned last week when The Queens Courier honored 40 of the borough’s budding young professionals. “It’s awesome to be honored, and it’s humbling to be among these people,” said Eric Abrams, 26, digital media and membership associate for the Queens Chamber of Commerce. “I feel like I’m on my way up.”

Abrams — recognized for his work for the Chamber, including his part in securing a $100,000 grant to develop a mobile phone app for Queens tourism — shared the limelight with several other “Rising Stars” honored for exemplifying outstanding leadership skills in their chosen fields and communities.


Presented by Metropolitan Hospitality, the fifth annual “40 under 40” awards and networking event drew over 500 people and raised $2,500 in charity raffle funds collected to benefit the Hank Auffarth Family Center of The Child Center of NY and Morgan Center, a pre-school for kids with cancer.

“This makes me proud of my staff, the company and proud to work in Queens,” said Seth Taylor, 33, executive director at the 82nd Street Partnership. “It makes me think back to the work I’ve done and it reminds me of all the work to be done.”

On January 31, at the Caesars Club in Citi Field, event attendees networked with top professionals and mingled with representatives from leading businesses in the area, including this year’s event sponsors National Grid, TD Bank, Parker Jewish Institute for Health Care & Rehabilitation, Delta Airlines, Queens Library, Con Edison, Flushing Bank, Council for Airport Opportunity, Queens County Savings Bank, Time Warner Business Class, Samuel Field Y, Sandwire, Crystal Window & Door Systems, Investors Bank and Ehren Joseph Studios.

Danielle Monaro, a co-host on Z100’s Elvis Duran & The Morning Show, received the “Star of Stars” award and was the night’s honorary emcee.

“I went to St. John’s University, so I feel like I grew up in Queens,” she said. “It’s just really nice to see how diverse the crowd is, how everybody comes together and supports each other. It really does mean a lot that I was chosen to be here. “


Monaro, a New Jersey resident, said she started her gig as a radio personality at St. John’s, where she did theater and WSJU Radio before graduating in 1995.

She helped honor fellow award recipients, including “Mentor of the Year” Bud Harrelson, a 1969 New York Mets World Series champion.

Also honored this year for their community work were Joseph Amodeo, development director for Quality Services for the Autism Community; Eric D. Abrams Digital Media & Membership Associate Queens Chamber of Commerce; Gerdie Rene Gordon, member, Cambria Heights Development Corporation; Seth Taylor, Executive Director, 82nd Street Partnership; Anahit Azatyan, manager of OKG Jewelry; Anokye Blissett, attorney at Law Firm of Russo & Blissett; Ricky Brava, senior partner at Apollo Financial Group; Ricardi Calixte, director of neighborhood economic development for the Queens Economic Development Corporation; Jennifer Colletti-Membreño, assistant director of development at Samuel Field Y; Elizabeth Culp, assistant vice president and branch manager at Roslyn Savings Bank; Paisley Demby, business services director at Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Businesses at LaGuardia Community College; Josh Fatoullah, president and founder of JR Wealth Advisors; Dr. Peter Feibish, orthodontist at Dynamic Dental; Christian Goode, CFO and SVP of Resorts World NY; Gerdie Rene Gordon, member of Cambria Heights Development Corporation; Tracie Hall, vice president of strategy and organizational development of library services at Queens Library; Matthew Jahrsdoerfer, audit principal at Grassi & Co; Isabella Leung, human resource manager at Crystal Window & Door Systems; Jennifer Matthews, NTC marketing and events for USTA National Tennis Center; Maria Messados, principal/insurance broker for Queens Medallion; Ann O’Connor, cultural collaborator at Zoescope Studio; Tony Rappaport, licensed sales associate at Greenthal Property Sales & Management; Michael Ratner, partner at Abrams, Fensterman; Jeffrey Reich-Hale, director of sales and marketing at Wyndham Garden LIC; June Reid, department manager at Delta Air Lines at JFK International Airport; Jeff Yanni, general manager at Delta Air Lines at LaGuardia Airport; Elias Roman, CEO and co-founder of Songza Media, Inc; Rick Rosa, executive vice president and managing director at Douglas Elliman; Frank T. Santoro, counsel at Farrell Fritz, P.C; Suzanne Shusteris, manager at TD Bank; Aravella Simotas, assemblymember of District 36; Kevin Skelly, assistant general manager at Clearview Golf Corp.; Silvia Tejeda, licensed real estate broker at Rapid Realty Astoria Inc.; Ebony Young, executive director of Long Island City YMCA; Jason Hilliard, executive director for Congressmember Gregory Meeks; Frank Russo III, manager of Russo’s on the Bay; Abbi Leman, communications director at CUNY School of Law; Andrew Barnes, manager at National Grid; Wafa Abboud, founder and CEO of Human First, Inc.; Chris Lynch, director of operations of Parker’s Medical Transportation Division for Lakeville Ambulette Transportation; and Jeffrey DeShields, mortgage development officer and team leader for Sovereign Bank. “I feel blessed. You can’t ask for anything better,” said DeShields, 39.

Creative Group, LLC and Delta Airlines provided the raffled-off Cancun trip, which included four nights and five days at the Ocean Spa Resort or the Laguna Suites and two round trip airfare tickets.
Broadway tickets, an HD TV, two Nets tickets to the TGI Suite at the Barclays Center and many gift certificates were also given away by exhibitors.

Guests also snapped pictures in a free photo booth sponsored by Investors Bank and snacked on free Nathan’s hotdogs and pretzels.

Danielle Monaro, co-host of the Z100 Elvis Duran and the Morning Show, talks about The Queens Courier Rising Stars event on her radio show. 



Former Met Mike Piazza, other nominees not voted into Baseball Hall of Fame; first time no inductees since 1996

| tcullen@queenscourier.com

File photo

No one’s going on the wall this year.

The candidates for the Baseball Hall of Fame failed to get the needed 75-percent of votes today to make it into Cooperstown. This was the first time since 1996 that no one was voted into the Baseball Hall of Fame.

One of those ball players was Mets catcher Mike Piazza, who, according to MLB.com, received 57.8 percent of the vote on his first ballot appearance.

Several sluggers accused of using performance enhancing drugs also appeared on the ballot: Barry Bonds, Sammy Sosa and Mark McGuire.

After the announcement that seems to be stunning the baseball world, Mets COO Jeff Wilpon commented that, “we are optimistic one day soon Mike‘s plaque, with a Mets cap, will be hanging in Cooperstown where it truly belongs.”