She never played in a game at Shea Stadium, but Ruth Roberts is as big a part of Mets history as Jose Reyes, Mike Piazza and Darryl Strawberry combined.

The songwriter who gave New York baseball fans "Meet the Mets," died after a fight with lung cancer Thursday night at her home in Rye Brook, N.Y.

Roberts, 84, upset 18 rivals when her song was selected as the official New York Mets theme song in 1961.

The ball club hadn't even played a National League game yet. Big Apple fans wouldn't hear it for the first time until 1963.

The New York Times reports the lyrics were mostly rewritten in 1984, without the help of Roberts and her collaborator Bill Katz, but the tune remains basically the same. It's still a staple on radio, TV and all Mets games games at Citi Field.

In addition to "Meet the Mets," Roberts and Katz teamed up for several sports-themed songs:

• "Mr. Touchdown, U.S.A.," recorded by Hugo Winterhalter's orchestra in 1951

• "I Love Mickey," recorded by Teresa Brewer and Mickey Mantle in 1956.

• "It's a Beautiful Day for a Ballgame," which was played for many years at Los Angeles Dodgers home games.

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