CLEON, STRAWBERRY AND MOOKIE TO THROW CEREMONIAL FIRST PITCHES: Mets Hall of Famers Cleon Jones (1969), Darryl Strawberry (1986) and Mookie Wilson (1986) - all members of previous World Series Championship teams for the Mets - will throw Game Five's ceremonial first pitches.
TONY BENNETT TO SING "AMERICA THE BEAUTIFUL": Queens native and iconic performer Tony Bennett will sing "America The Beautiful" before tonight's game. Joining him are twelve students from Frank Sinatra School of the Arts, which Tony and his wife, Susan, founded in partnership with the NYC Department of Education in his hometown of Astoria. No one in popular American music has recorded for so long and at such a high level of excellence than Tony Bennett. In the last ten years alone he has sold ten million records. The essence of his longevity and high artistic achievement was imbued in him in his loving childhood home in the Astoria section of Queens where he was born on August 3, 1926. As a teenager, Bennett sang while waiting on tables and then enlisted in the Army during World War II and while in Europe he performed with military bands. He later had vocal studies at the American Theatre Wing School. Bennett's big break came in 1949 when comedian Bob Hope noticed him working with Pearl Bailey in Greenwich Village in New York City. With millions of records sold world-wide and platinum and gold albums to his credit, Bennett has received eighteen Grammy Awards. Bennett is one of a handful of artists to have new albums charting in the 50's, 60's, 70's, 80's, 90's, and now in the first two decades of the 21st century. At the age of 85 and then again at the age of 88 he became the oldest artist in music history to have a #1 album on the Billboard Top 200 Album Charts. Bennett became a Kennedy Center Honoree in 2005 and was named an NEA Jazz Master in January of 2006. Bennett is also a dedicated painter whose interest in art began as a child and has three or his original paintings in the permanent collection of the Smithsonian Institution. Throughout his career, Bennett has always put his heart and time into humanitarian concerns. He has raised millions of dollars for the Juvenile Diabetes Foundation, which established a research fund in his name. He marched with Dr. King in the historical Selma to Montgomery Civil Rights movement. In 1999, Bennett, with his wife, Susan Benedetto, founded Exploring the Arts (ETA) to strengthen the role of the arts in public high school education. ETA continued beyond its commitment to Frank Sinatra School of Arts to expand their support and to date, currently partners with 23 public high schools - 17 in all five boroughs of New York City and 6 schools located in Los Angeles. Tony Bennett's latest CD, THE SILVER LINING: THE SONGS OF JEROME KERN, which he recorded with jazz pianist Bill Charlap, debuted at #1 on Billboard's Traditional Jazz Album charts.
VETERAN OF THE GAME: Tonight's "Veteran of the Game" is Staff Sergeant Alfredo De los Santos. De los Santos, motivated by the 9/11 attack on the World Trade Center, responded to the call of duty and joined the Army in 2004. In October 2008, while serving in Afghanistan, he was wounded in action, and as a consequence of the injury, his right leg was amputated above the knee and he has been receiving treatment related to Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) and Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI). However, he has not let his injuries stop him as De Los Santos competes nationally and internationally in hand cycling and in in the biatholon.
"GOD BLESS AMERICA" PERFORMANCE: FDNY Firefighter Frank Pizarro will sing "God Bless America" before the bottom of the 7th inning.
FIRST-BALL DELIVERY: Ilda Mercado, 16, a member of the Children's Aid Society East Harlem Center Boys & Girls Club, will deliver the game ball to the mound with former All-Star infielder for the Mets Edgardo Alfonzo. Mercado is a junior at Life Sciences High School.