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NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) – All-Star festivities in New York officially kicked off Friday when the Jacob K. Javits Convention Center opened its doors to FanFest, the world’s largest interactive baseball theme park.
In addition to playing like a pro, fans will also be able to meet and interact with some of their favorite players. There are also displays featuring MLB’s trophies and a Hall of Fame exhibit.
Baseball fans can even watch as WFAN radio hosts — including Mike Francesa, Craig Carton, Boomer Esiason, Evan Roberts, Joe Benigno and more — broadcast live from the heart of FanFest.
In all, the festival features 40 attractions. Just some of the greats making appearances at the various events are members of the 1969 Mets, Ed Charles, Bud Harrelson, Cleon Jones, Ed Kranepool, Amos Otis, Joe Pignatano and Art Shamsky; and members of the 1986 Mets, including Sid Fernandez, George Foster, Dwight Gooden, Howard Johnson, Barry Lyons, Kevin Mitchell, Jesse Orosco, Rafael Santana, Darryl Strawberry, Tim Teufel and Mookie Wilson.
FanFest runs from Friday to Tuesday, leading up to the All-Star Game at Citi Field on July 16.
In addition to the main attraction, the Mets’ home ballpark will also host the All-Star Futures Game and the All-Star Legends & Celebrity Softball Game on Sunday. All-Star Workout Day and the Home Run Derby are on Monday.
Wilson will be managing the United States team in Sunday’s Futures Game. He’ll be keeping a close eye on two Mets prospects: Double-A starter Noah Syndergaard and Triple-A right-hander Rafael Montero.
“I think one guy that we’re going to be very impressed with is going to be Rafael Montero,” Wilson told 1010 WINS’ John Montone from FanFest. “Good arm, good stuff. I think we’re going to really be excited when we see this kid pitch. He’s excited everyone around the league. He’s just a fantastic young pitcher.”
Fans also had a chance to mingle and learn from former New York Mets closer John Franco, CBS 2′s Amy Dardashtian reported.
Fans were also able to browse through decades of baseball history that was on display including a Ted Williams jersey that was expected to bring in millions of dollars at auction, as well as a game ball from the day that Jackie Robinson broke the games color barrier. Some of those items may be out of the price range of the casual fan.
“I’m not sure if this is in my budget right now, I’m retired,” Franco said.
The lineups for the Legends & Celebrity Softball Game were announced Friday morning on WFAN’s “Boomer & Carton” show.
Tickets for T-Mobile All-Star FanFest are available for purchase online at www.allstargame.com, by phone at 1-888-FANFEST (326-3378) and at the Mets’ ticket office at Citi Field. Prices are $35 for adults and $30 for children 12 and under (children two and under are admitted free), senior citizens and military personnel.
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