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Mets, MLB brighten day at children's hospital

NEW YORK -- The arrival of Mr. Met. A ribbon-cutting ceremony. The mention of the National League-champion Mets. The combination of those three elements brought smiles to the faces of a lot of children on Thursday afternoon in Queens, N.Y.

That's why Major League Baseball and the Mets partnered up with Starlight Children's Foundation on Thursday to donate a Starlight Fun Center mobile entertainment unit to the kids at Elmhurst Hospital, which is located just a little over two miles away from Citi Field.

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"We are in a hospital. Kids are not here having fun, most of them have serious injuries," Mets Hall of Famer Cleon Jones said. "If you can do anything that would make a kid smile and have a little pleasure just for a moment, it makes their day."

The fun center is equipped with a Nintendo Wii -- preloaded with games and movies and other entertainment -- that rolls bedside in hospitals.

"It's a way to help a child through treatment without having to batter their bodies even more," said Janice Polizzotto, the senior director of global partnerships for Starlight Children's Foundation.

Jones, who caught the final out during the Mets' World Series clincher in 1969, said he did not hesitate at the opportunity to get involved when he was asked by the Mets to take part in this event.

MLB and Starlight have been partners for years, but with the World Series returning to New York for Game 3 on Friday (7:30 p.m. ET air time on FOX; 8 p.m. game time), it provides an extra spotlight for the surrounding community.

"We are here to help communities and families," said Tom Brasuell, MLB's vice president of community affairs. "The World Series gives us a special stage and a special platform to do it even bigger and greater."

Jamal Collier is a reporter for Follow him on Twitter at @jamalcollier.
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