It was a big night in the Big Apple for #UConnNation.
Last night, 500 alumni attended UConn Night at Citi Field to watch the New York Mets beat the St. Louis Cardinals 3-1 in the second game of a doubleheader. According to the Mets, it was one of the best turnouts of any university alumni event they’ve hosted, showcasing the strength of UConn as New York’s Sixth Borough.
“I think it says a lot, and I’m really encouraged by it,” said UConn Athletic Director David Benedict. “We need to build the passion in our fan base not just locally, but regionally and nationally. I think the fact we’ve got 500 people here tonight tells me that we do have a passionate fan base and that when provided the opportunity, we’ve got fans that are willing to come out and support UConn. This is a great event, and we’re going to get out to New York as much as we possibly can.”
The fun began before the game, when UConn Baseball Coach Jim Penders ’94 (CLAS) ’98 (MA) had the honor of throwing out the first pitch.
“I always like being around UConn Huskies in any environment,” said Penders. “To be with 500 Huskies in the Big Apple cheering on the Mets is extra special. We have more of our former players competing in the Mets organization than any other club, and so many of our alumni are in the New York metro area. The Wilpon family and their organization have always been great to our program. It’s great to share a special night with UConn Nation in our home away from home – New York City.”
Dan Toscano ’87 (BUS), Chair of the UConn Foundation’s Board of Directors, was Penders’ dependable catcher behind the plate. Toscano, a Mets season-ticket holder, was proud to see so many UConn alumni show off their Husky pride.
“They say we’re New York City’s team, and I think that proves it,” said Toscano.
There was plenty of excitement and Husky pride in the sold-out Big Apple Reserved Seats.
“This is really a cool event,” said Rob Brewer ’83. “It’s awesome [that it sold out]. I love all these events.”
“I’ve loved UConn and the Mets since I was little,” said Puneet Nanda ’06. “It’s my two favorite worlds coming together.”
“It’s incredible to be able to see the sorts of familiar faces that you’ve maybe seen in and around campus [and] now we’re all in the same place,” said Jesse Cohen ’12. “We’re not in the friendly confines of Storrs, Connecticut. We’re in New York City now, but we’re all in the same place. It’s really cool to see.”
Want to join your fellow Huskies in the fun? You can find more alumni events here.