WASHINGTON — President Reagan welcomed the world champion New York Mets to the White House today, and told baseball's finest in 1986, "You have certainly done yourselves, the city of New York and all America proud."
In a Rose Garden ceremony under a warm November sun, Reagan recalled the 1962 Mets, who posted an embarrassing 40-120 record that prompted Manager Casey Stengal to question, "Can't anybody here play this game?"
"Well, not only did the Mets show America that the 'Other Team from New York' could play this game, they did it their way -- the Mets made 'em say, "Ya Gotta Believe."
Mets catcher Gary Carter presented Reagan with an orange-and-blue Mets' warm-up jacket, with the name Reagan emblazoned on the back.
Absent from the ceremony were Mets Manager Davey Johnson, first baseman Keith Hernandez, outfielder Darryl Strawberry and pitcher Ron Darling.