Miami Marlins' Ichiro Suzuki (51) signs autographs for members of the Little League World Series winning team from Endwell, N.Y., during batting practice before a baseball game between the New York Mets and the Marlins, Wednesday, Aug. 31, 2016, in New York. (AP Photo/Kathy Willens)
NEW YORK (AP) The Mets and Governor Andrew Cuomo honored the 2016 Little League World Series champions from Endwell, New York, prior to a game with the Miami Marlins on Wednesday.
A group of 29 players, coaches, parents and siblings took the three-hour bus ride from Endwell to Citi Field. The players spent batting practice on the field, meeting the Mets' players before Cuomo presented the team with an official New York State proclamation. Rather than read the entire proclamation to a room of 12-year-olds, Cuomo summarized, saying ''that as governor of the state of New York, we are all very, very proud of you and what you represent in your victory and your character and how you stand for all of the important virtues of this state.''
Endwell became the first U.S. winner since Huntington Beach, California, in 2011 and gave New York its first championship since 1964.
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''I don't think they understand how big of an accomplishment it was,'' Endwell coach Scott Rush said. ''Today, they get to be kids.''
Rush threw out the game's first pitch.
Captain David Wright and pitchers Robert Gsellman, Seth Lugo, Logan Verrett and Jacob deGrom – the five players on the roster that spent time with New York's Double-A affiliate in Binghamton – joined CEO Fred Wilpon and general manager Sandy Alderson for a brief reception before the governor addressed the team.
''Binghamton is our hometown team,'' Rush said.
''I'm jealous of you guys,'' Wright said. ''I've never been able to capture that world title. So just know that I'm going to shake your hand, but I'm going to shake it with a little jealousy because I'd like to be where you guys are for sure.''