Out of the Bullpen for 9/11 Anniversary: FDNY Commish to Throw Out First Pitch at Citi Field

NY Daily News - September 10, 2018


FDNY Commissioner Daniel Nigro looks into the past and sees the flame-throwing southpaw of his youth.

He's a little less certain about the 69-year-old version set to throw out the first pitch before the Mets take on the Miami Marlins on the 17th anniversary of the 9/11 attacks on the World Trade Center.

"It's been a long time since I actually pitched — 50 years," Nigro confessed to the Daily News about his 20th century mound efforts. "I don't think I have the arm I used to have.

"In my memory, I was a great pitcher," he continued, tongue in cheek.

"Blazing fastball, great breaking ball."

Like Tom Seaver? Or maybe Jacob deGrom?

"A little bit of each," he deadpanned.

Nigro prepped for his major league debut Tuesday by consulting with legendary Mets reliever John Franco, a fellow left-hander with 424 career saves. Franco's advice: Throw your one and only pitch high. Nobody wants to bounce their ceremonial toss in the dirt in front of the Citi Field faithful.

The commissioner jokingly cited MLB's expanded September rosters for his major league callup. And despite his claim of a half century between appearances, he handled the first pitch duties at Coney Island last month for the annual NYPD-FDNY baseball game.

"I almost reached home plate, very close," he said. "Hard but low. We'll try . . . harder in the big leagues."

Nigro noted his pregame appearance was just a very small part of the annual commemoration of the day when 343 of his FDNY colleagues were killed.

"The big thing about the 11th is not me throwing out the first pitch but honoring some of the families that need comfort," the commissioner said.