Mets raise 2015 NL title banner before opener

Mets raise 2015 NL title banner before opener

NEW YORK -- For as long as Citi Field exists, a part of 2015 will rest inside of it. The Mets made that official in the moments prior to their home opener Friday, when former players Rusty Staub, John Franco and Edgardo Alfonzo -- all pennant winners themselves -- helped raise the new flag at Citi.

The banner event itself was part of an otherwise subdued pregame ceremony for the Mets, who wanted to recognize the recent past without harping on it.

"Certainly we're thrilled for our fans, what we accomplished last year," manager Terry Collins said. "But as we saw the last week in Kansas City, we've got to get this over with. We've got to get 2015 over and start getting ready for 2016, and today's that day."

After sitting through a higher-profile ring ceremony and a banner raising earlier this week in Kansas City, the Mets enjoyed smaller parties of their own at Citi. Privately, they handed out rings to players and personnel in a clubhouse event Thursday at Citi Field, before raising their pennant before their opener.

Members of the NYPD and FDNY who were injured in the line of duty last year threw out ceremonial first pitches after the banner raising. "Hamilton" stars Chris Jackson and Anthony Ramos then sang the national anthem, followed by an NYPD helicopter flyover.

Anthony DiComo is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @AnthonyDiComo and Facebook, and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.