Last Wednesday, R.A. Dickey showed again why he's the best and why, regardless of what befalls them on the field, the Mets continue to be the standard-bearer for community involvement among local area sports teams. Taking part in a program called Citi Field Kids, Dickey was on hand at the Jacob A. Riis Neighborhood Settlement House in Long Island City to speak with a hundred kids from United Neighborhood Houses.
"To have people care enough about you to provide a place like this in the community is a fantastic start," Dickey said of the settlement house, a community based non-profit organization that offers comprehensive services to youth, adults, seniors and families of Western Queens.
"I wish there would've been events like this for me in Nashville, Tenn. It's such a rich experience for me, it's like I'm looking out and seeing 100 R.A. Dickeys. That was me, so there's a real connection there."
Dickey's message for the 100 kids in attendance was simple: persevere, and anything is possible. That, and a tutorial on throwing a knuckleball, of course.
"You're going to make mistakes, you're going to make bad choices, you're going to have a rough game, but it's what you do when that happens that really defines you," Dickey said. "My hope for them is they'll be able to hold the mistakes that they've made, grow out of them and really work hard to achieve their goals."
After his talk, Dickey and players from the Stony Brook baseball team held a clinic for the kids in attendance. The Mets will hold tryouts for the kids to see if any of them might be able to help out at catcher for the balance of the season (if only!).
Dickey teaches the Knuckler. (click to embiggen)
Dickey and the Stony Brook baseball team. (click to embiggen)