By JENNIFER PELTZ | AP
NEW YORK (AP) -- Baseball's best players will parade past Grand Central Terminal, and a convention center will be transformed into a baseball theme park as part of the festivities for the first All-Star game at the Mets' new stadium.
The party plans include five days of fanfare, including All-Star players parading along 42nd Street on a massive red carpet, player appearances and baseball clinics at the Javits Center convention facility, and, of course, the annual home run derby at Citi Field.
"There's nothing that's comparable to playing in an All-Star game in New York," Mets third baseman David Wright said Wednesday at a City Hall news conference announcing festivities leading up to the July 16 showdown at Citi Field.
Baseball also marked the official start of All-Star voting, with the online ballot up and running, and voting slated for every major league stadium by May 7.
Wright has been selected for six All-Star games, including 2008 at the old Yankee Stadium. But he would "gladly trade all six of those in to participate in this year's," he said at City Hall, flanked by former Mets Edgardo Alfonzo, John Franco and Mookie Wilson.
The Mets last hosted the All-Star game in 1964 in Shea Stadium. Citi Field opened in 2009.
"New York knows how to throw a party, and this is going to be something special," said Franco, a four-time All-Star who pitched for the Mets for 14 years.
"And, you know, I already voted for David 15 times," he joked.
This year's All-Star events are expected to draw 176,000 fans and journalists, generate more than $190 million in economic activity and help show off New York's growing muscle as a sports hub, Mayor Michael Bloomberg said.
Besides the All-Star game, the city boasts two new baseball stadiums, a new basketball arena and a role in hosting next year's Super Bowl at the new MetLife Stadium in New Jersey.
"New York City really has become the sports capital of America," Bloomberg said before receiving an honorary Mets jersey with the No. 13.
The New York Mets and free-agent Curtis Granderson have agreed on a four-year deal, sources tell FOX 5 News. The now former NY Yankees outfielder will reportedly be paid $60M. Granderson, 32, suffered a broken forearm and pinkie injury limiting his play during the 2013 season.
Mayor- elect Bill de Blasio has selected William Bratton, 66, to succeed Ray Kelly, the longest-serving commissioner in NYPD history. "Bill Bratton is a proven crime-fighter. He knows what it takes to keep a city safe, and make communities full partners in the mission," said de Blasio. Bratton also served as commissioner under Rudy Giuliani.
Mayor- elect Bill de Blasio has selected William Bratton, 66, to succeed Ray Kelly, the longest-serving commissioner in NYPD history. "Bill Bratton is a proven crime-fighter. He knows what it takes to keep a city safe, and make communities full partners in the mission," said de Blasio. Bratton served as commissioner under Rudy Giuliani.
More than 100 New York City schoolchildren arrived at JFK Airport greeted by Santa's helpers. The mission: a flight to the North Pole to meet the man himself. Delta Air Lines and the YMCA set up the event and spared no detail. The kids even had their own boarding passes. The Delta elves say they were delighted to help out.