The children of a fallen New York City cop will have the honor Friday of throwing out the ceremonial first pitch at the annual heroes baseball game between cops and firefighters who belong to the NYPD and the FDNY.
The game is always an intense affair but will have special meaning this year with the kids of Miosotis Familia on hand, just weeks after her death.
Familia had died a martyr after a cop-hating gunman ambushed her inside a mobile command vehicle in the Bronx July 5. The gunman, who sought psychiatric care days before the shooting, was shot and killed when he pointed a gun at pursuing officers.
The veteran 48-year-old officer was the mother a 20-year-old daughter and 12-year-old twins, a boy and a girl. She was also caring for her ailing 86-year-old mother.
The 18th Annual MCU Heroes Baseball Classic is being played at the home of the of the New York Mets minor league team, the Brooklyn Cyclones. The field is on the water in Coney Island.
“The streets, when we go to work from 9-5, that’s real life,” NYPD manager Jose Vasquez told Fox News. “That’s reality. This is a chance for us to escape, and just have fun and play the game of baseball.”
The Finest and the Bravest have been going head to head on the baseball diamond as far back as 1912.
“You go back to acting like a kid,” Vasquez said. “This is a kid’s game.”
The NYPD holds a narrow edge in the series, 9-8.
“You play for bragging rights,” Vasquez said. “We want to be the best in the city.”
The NYPD just won gold at the 2017 World Police Fire Games earlier this month in Los Angeles.
The FDNY won bronze.
The annual game isn’t all about who finishes on top. Proceeds go to various NYPD and FDNY charities, including the Widows’ and Children’s Fund.
More than 5,000 people are expected to attend Friday’s game at 7 p.m.
The game will also honor the families of fallen NYPD members Steven McDonald and Sgt. Paul Tuozzolo and FDNY members William Tolley and Michael Fahy.
McDonald, who died in January, was left paralyzed by a teenage bicycle thief Shavod “Buddha” Jones in Central Park in 1986. McDonald forgave Jones six months after the shooting.
Tuozzolo, Tolley and Fahy all died in the line of duty within the past 12 months.
Familia’s children showed up Tuesday for the promotion ceremony of her commanding officer.
Philip Rivera, who ran the 46th Precinct and was bumped up to the rank of Deputy Chief from Inspector, said he appreciated the children being there for him.
“It meant a lot to me,” he said, according to the New York Post.
He said their presence almost meant a lot to the cops Familia worked with in the precinct.
Fox Business producer Sean Wilson contributed to this report.