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Hundreds join Queens borough president for Mets pep rally

By Tom Momberg

The Mets are warming up for their attempt at a third World Series title.

The team was sent on their way to Kansas City to play the first two games of the series as Borough President Melinda Katz was joined Monday by several Queens lawmakers, former New York Mets players and jubilant fans for a hometown pep rally.

“We are here today to share our hometown team in the World’s Borough of Queens,” Katz said, looking out over hundreds of Mets fans gathered at Borough Hall. “It’s a great time to be the borough president … as we celebrate in a sea of green and orange.”

The National League Baseball team gave out free World Series T-shirts to the first 500 attendees, contributing to the crowd of spirited color. But T-shirts ran out before the event even started.

Former Mets infielder Edgardo “Fonzie” Alfonzo and former left-handed Mets relief pitcher John Franco said fan support would be what gives the Mets their third World Series title.

“Hopefully, this means the Mets will do something different with this opportunity this year,” Franco said, referring to the team’s 2000 World Series loss to the New York Yankees when he was still playing for the Mets.

The sound system used for the sports rally was faulty and the borough president was beginning to lose her voice, but still she tried to yell as hard as she could, but when she couldn’t, Mets in-game host Branden Wellington was there to hype up the crowd.

“Madam Borough President doesn’t have a voice anymore,” Wellington said. “But you know what? Neither should you by the end of next week.”

And Wellington would be correct if fans continue to cheer and yell as loud as they did at the rally.

Katz said she would host another sports rally once the potential seven-game series comes to a finish.

“We want to see everyone back here next week after we win the World Series. We are all one city, and we are all rooting for the Mets to win,” she said.

Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito (D-Manhattan) joined the crowd in Queens.

“I have to say being in the city last week was very exciting, but being here this week will be even more exciting,” she said, referring to the Mets’ sweep of the Chicago Cubs last week for the National League Championship.

Other elected officials who made it out for the rally included Public Advocate Letitia James, Queens District Attorney Richard Brown, state Assemblymen David Weprin (D-Little Neck) and Francisco Moya (D-Jackson Heights), state Sen. Joseph Addabbo (D-Howard Beach), Councilwomen Karen Koslowitz (D-Forest Hills) and Elizabeth Crowley (D-Middle Village) and Councilman Jimmy Van Bramer (D-Sunnyside).

Reach Reporter Tom Momberg by e-mail at tmomberg@cnglocal.com or by phone at (718) 260–4573.

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