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Greenwich Boy Throws First Pitch At Citi Field Starlight Night

Starlight supporter Ryan Heinzerling, 11, of Greenwich (left) and Ernesto Martinez, 9, of Yonkers eagerly await the signal to walk onto Citi Field to throw the ceremonial first pitch at last Tuesday’s Mets vs. Cardinals game.
Starlight supporter Ryan Heinzerling, 11, of Greenwich (left) and Ernesto Martinez, 9, of Yonkers eagerly await the signal to walk onto Citi Field to throw the ceremonial first pitch at last Tuesday’s Mets vs. Cardinals game. Photo Credit: Courtesy of the Starlight Children's Foundation
Ryan Heinzerling, a Starlight supporter from Greenwich, Conn., throws the first pitch before the Mets game with Ernesto Martinez (left), a 9-year-old boy from Yonkers fighting Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia.
Ryan Heinzerling, a Starlight supporter from Greenwich, Conn., throws the first pitch before the Mets game with Ernesto Martinez (left), a 9-year-old boy from Yonkers fighting Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia. Photo Credit: Courtesy of the Starlight Children's Foundation
Nine-year-old Ernesto Martinez (left) from Yonkers and 11-year-old Ryan Heinzerling (right) from Greenwich, Conn. receive last minute instructions about throwing out the ceremonial first pitch before the New York Mets
Nine-year-old Ernesto Martinez (left) from Yonkers and 11-year-old Ryan Heinzerling (right) from Greenwich, Conn. receive last minute instructions about throwing out the ceremonial first pitch before the New York Mets Photo Credit: Courtesy of the Starlight Children's Foundation
Former New York Mets Mookie Wilson (left) and John Franco (right) congratulate 9-year-old Ernesto Martinez of Yonkers for throwing the first pitch at the Mets game during the 11th Annual Starlight Night at Citi Field.
Former New York Mets Mookie Wilson (left) and John Franco (right) congratulate 9-year-old Ernesto Martinez of Yonkers for throwing the first pitch at the Mets game during the 11th Annual Starlight Night at Citi Field. Photo Credit: Courtesy of the Starlight Children's Foundation

GREENWICH, Conn. – Eleven-year-old Ryan Heinzerling of Greenwich had the honor of throwing the ceremonial first pitch at the 11th Annual Starlight Night at Citi Field before the Mets took on the St. Louis Cardinals last week.

As part of a Starlight Children’s Foundation fundraiser, the organization accepts bids to throw the first pitch. Ryan's father won the bid, allowing him to join Ernesto Martinez – a 9-year-old Yonkers boy who entered remission a year ago after battling acute lymphoblastic leukemia since 2009 – on the pitcher’s mound.

Ernesto, along with more than 300 seriously ill children who spend a significant portion of their lives in hospitals and clinics, was treated to the baseball game on June 11. It was part of the Starlight Children’s “Great Escapes” program, courtesy of the Mets, which donated 800 tickets for the event, and ARAMARK, which provided catering in the Bullpen Plaza.

The Starlight Children’s Foundation NY*NJ*CT is a division of the international nonprofit organization that helps seriously ill children and their families cope with their pain, fear and isolation through entertainment, education and family activities.

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