Det. Brian Simonsen's widow Leanne with a Blue Waves baseball jersey bearing her husband's number 21. Photo: Peter Blasl

The Riverhead Blue Waves paid homage to fallen NYPD detective and Riverhead High School alumnus Brian “Smiles” Simonsen today, retiring his baseball jersey number 21 in special pregame ceremonies on the baseball diamond.

Simonsen, a 1995 RHS graduate, played baseball and football for the Waves.

He was killed in the line of duty Feb. 12 after responding to a report of an armed robbery in the Queens precinct he spent his career protecting. At 42, he was a 19-year veteran of the New York City Police Department.

School district officials, coaching staff, players and community members gathered for the ceremonies, which included the dedication of a granite memorial and a plaque bearing Simonsen’s jersey number. Riverhead Building Supply made and donated both.

Simonsen’s widow Leanne and his mother Linda each threw out a ceremonial first pitch before the start of the game against Connetquot.

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Peter Blasl
Peter Blasl is an award-winning photographer and newshound who chases breaking news when he's not busy selling ads for the LOCAL websites. He’s a lifelong Riverhead resident, nature-lover and avid fisherman Email Peter