Globe iconLogin iconRecap iconSearch iconTickets icon
news

MLB News

Nimmo, Davis help Mets deliver holiday cheer

@ladsonbill24
December 4, 2019

NEW YORK -- One would have thought Wednesday was Christmas Day at Citi Field. But the kids at the Mets’ ballpark were not complaining that presents arrived early. Why? The Mets were hosting schoolchildren at their annual Kids Holiday Party in the Foxwoods Club at Citi Field. The festivities lasted

NEW YORK -- One would have thought Wednesday was Christmas Day at Citi Field. But the kids at the Mets’ ballpark were not complaining that presents arrived early. Why?

The Mets were hosting schoolchildren at their annual Kids Holiday Party in the Foxwoods Club at Citi Field. The festivities lasted two hours and included lunch, games and holiday performances from the kids from Queens. And can they sing. One of the best performances came from the P.S. 16 children, who sung "O Christmas Tree" in English and Spanish.

The Mets selected more than 100 students from local elementary schools to attend the event. Outfielders Brandon Nimmo and J.D. Davis took part in the festivities along with mascot Mr. Met.

Nimmo played Santa, while Davis played the Baseball Hitting Elf. ... There’s Davis handing over Christmas presents to Nimmo, who then gave the gifts to the children.

The kids couldn’t open the presents until they returned to school, and they received more gifts as they left Citi Field.

“It was great of the Mets to open up to the community, and various schools meeting each other and performing,” said Nicole Bailey, the principal at The Learning Tree.

After the event was over, Nimmo and Davis didn’t hesitate to share how much they enjoyed taking part.

“I love that holiday cheer. It’s a very important time for us, just giving back to the community,” said Nimmo, who was in his third year participating in the event. “It’s very fun for us. ... I’d like to do this for 15, 20 years. Hopefully, I can beat [John] Franco, who was doing it the longest.”

Said Davis, “I didn’t know I was dressing up for an elf. It was great for the kids to get presents and celebrate the holiday. I think Brandon has been a good Santa.”

After the Kids Holiday Party came to an end, Nimmo and Davis talked baseball with the local media. The way Davis sees things, the Mets will be competitive in the National League East even though former teammate Zack Wheeler agreed to terms on a five-year deal with Phillies.

“I think we’ll be good,” Davis said. “Anytime you have Jacob deGrom on top of your list, it’s pretty solid. The offense, we are a pretty tight-knit group. We take pride on good at-bats, score some runs for the pitchers. It’s going to be exiting. I’m hoping for a good 2020 season.”

Nimmo said his neck is much better and will continue to exercise it on a regular basis. He played in 69 games this past season because of a bulging disk in his neck. Nimmo has been told he will play center field.

“I’m working on controlling center field, until they tell me something. I’m trying to get the body ready and keep the neck going,” Nimmo said. “Everything is good. The farther we get from the injury, the better. Everything has been going well this offseason.”

Davis had the best year of his career in 2019, with a slash line of .307/.369/.527 in 140 games. He spent most of time between third base and left field. If Davis had his way, he would be at third. Most of his career has been spent at the hot corner.

“At the beginning of the year, I played mostly third base because Todd Frazier was hurt. I felt comfortable over there,” Davis said. “Then it was spot starts if Frazier needed a day off or something like that. It was difficult coming from left field to third base because it’s 150 feet difference in a game. The ball gets on you quicker. If I play third or get good reps over there, I’ll feel comfortable, and I’m excited.”

Davis also would like to make improvements on the basepaths.

“I’m not the fastest, but I can become a better baserunner just by going from first to third, or second to home," Davis said. "It’s learning the game, and [I want] a higher IQ.”

Bill Ladson has been a reporter for MLB.com since 2002. He covered the Nationals/Expos from 2002-2016. Follow him on Twitter and Facebook.