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Monday, March 25, 2024


 Harrelson family to be part of Opening Day Ceremonies

FLUSHING, N.Y., March 25, 2024 — The New York Mets today announced that the team will wear a tribute uniform patch all season long to honor Mets Hall of Famer Buddy Harrelson. Harrelson passed away on January 10, 2024 at age 79 after a lengthy battle with Alzheimer’s. Harrelson’s iconic number three with the word “BUDDY” in a diamond will be featured on the sleeve of the Mets home and road jersey (photo attached).

Harrelson’s six grandchildren will be involved in the ceremonial first pitches on Opening Day, March 28 vs. Milwaukee. Antonio Abbatiello, Luciano Abbatiello, Danielle Soppit, Nathan Rheinor, Ryan Harrelson and Brandon Rheinor will represent the family. There will be 23 members of the Harrelson family in attendance at Citi Field on Opening Day.

“I told the kids on a Zoom call what the Mets were doing for Buddy,” Kim Battaglia, who was married to Buddy for 36 years said. “They were all so happy and overwhelmed. It will be an emotional day. We just want to thank Steve and Alex (Cohen) for honoring him. For us, it was just confirmation for the kind of person Buddy was. I don’t think there was a kinder or more generous man than Buddy. He had a heart of gold.”

Harrelson played for the Mets from 1965–1977. He was a member of the 1969 Miracle Mets, a two-time All-Star (1970 and 1971) and earned the 1971 Gold Glove at shortstop. He later would serve as a coach with the Mets in 1982 and again from 1985–1990. Harrelson took over the managerial duties early in the 1990 season and led the Mets through the 1991 campaign. He was inducted into the Mets Hall of Fame in 1986.

Harrelson was the third base coach on the 1986 World Champs, becoming the only person to be in uniform on both World Series winning teams. Additionally, he was the only person in uniform for the team’s first four trips to the postseason (1969, 1973, 1986 and 1988).

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