NEW YORK -- Already scheduled to fly to New York City for an appearance Tuesday in Times Square, R.A. Dickey could not pass up a chance to swing by Citi Field for some additional holiday cheer.
Dickey and Ike Davis played elves at the Mets' annual holiday party, which furthered the team's recent Hurricane Sandy relief efforts. The Mets hosted 100 schoolchildren from P.S. 43 and the Scholars' Academy in Far Rockaway, Queens, both of which suffered enough hurricane damage to uproot students.
"This was so important that I wanted to come here and do this," Dickey said. "I can't fathom what they're having to go through, being displaced and leaving their schools and having to go to school somewhere else. It's just a tough thing. So anything I can do, especially in this season to lend whatever I can, is important."
Dickey and Davis served as honorary elves, reporting to Santa John Franco. The Mets joked in a press release that Franco extended his Major League record with his 15th appearance as Santa -- the team typically bestows that role upon current players, from Daniel Murphy in 2011 to David Wright in 2010.
Both Dickey and Davis stressed the importance of helping not only schoolchildren, but children in need.
"It's awesome," Davis said. "Every time you get to hang out with the kids, especially in the holiday season when they're so excited, it's a blast. They're full of energy. They're super excited to meet an athlete, so it's been great."
Dickey and Davis joined the growing chorus of Mets players who have traveled to New York since Hurricane Sandy. Johan Santana, Matt Harvey, Bobby Parnell, Dillon Gee and Jon Niese recently toured various neighborhoods in Queens, Brooklyn and Long Island to help with relief efforts, as well as to Citi Field, which has served as a staging area for disaster relief.
The Mets also announced this week that they will team with SNY and New York Cares for their sixth annual "Warm Up" holiday coat drive on Wednesday at Citi Field. Fans donating one or more coats will receive a voucher redeemable for a pair of tickets to a select Mets game in April 2013, as well as a coupon for 15 percent off regularly-priced merchandise at the Mets team store. Season ticket holders who donate coats will receive 20 percent off regularly-priced items at the store.
Fans can drop off coats at Citi Field's Hodges VIP entrance between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m., and may park in either the Official Lot or Lot G.