Steven Matz was only 14 hours or so removed from pitching for the Mets against the White Sox on Tuesday night when he got back to work, only this time leading with his right arm rather than his left.
It was shortly before Wednesday’s game against the White Sox, and the Mets pitcher was shaking hands and taking pictures with New York City policemen and their guests, part of a program called “Tru 32” in which No. 32 hosts 32 policemen, firemen or members of the military for every Wednesday home game.
The original plan was to have the program run through the end of May, but now it has been extended for the entire season.
“With all the bad publicity they’ve been getting lately it’s nice to step back and just thank them for keeping our community safe,” Matz said afterward of greeting the policemen.
Matz, 25, who is from Stony Brook and in his first full major-league season, said “Tru 32” is an early step in what he intends to make a broad commitment to community service.
“Definitely, it’s something I talked about to my agents [at ICON Sports] this year,” he said. “My agency’s motto is the quote by Jackie Robinson that a life is not important except the impact it has on others. So in this first year here I’m just kind of building a foundation. That’s really what we’re going for.
“This is something really simple, but it’s really cool that these guys appreciate coming out.”
Matz plans to move more slowly on the commercial endorsement front. He said he only has done “very minor stuff” so far and has no short-term plans for more. “My agents handle that stuff, so I don’t know,” he said.