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Padres recognize Gold Star families during home plate ceremony

SAN DIEGO — The San Diego Padres marked Memorial Day Monday by hosting Gold Star families who lost a relative during the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.

The families were recognized during a home plate ceremony before the game against the Chicago Cubs at Petco Park.

U.S. Army Chaplain Justin Roberts, who helped form the “Brother’s Keeper” program in an attempt to reduce suicides among soldiers, threw the ceremonial first pitch to former Padres catcher Jim Leyritz.

Both teams wore their Memorial Day uniforms that have the team names in woodland camouflage. The caps were camouflage with five stars representing the branches of the military.

The Padres and Cubs wore the road versions of the jerseys Saturday and Sunday.

All proceeds from the sale of Memorial Day apparel will benefit MLB Charities and used to support programs for military veterans and their families.

This is the fifth consecutive year Major League Baseball teams have worn special jerseys for Memorial Day, but the first they began wearing them before Memorial Day, and ninth year they have worn special caps.