NEW YORK -- Although the Mets did not take batting practice prior to Sunday's game against the Nationals, the field was a flurry of activity. Mickey Callaway took the mound, throwing BP to the Staten Island Little League team, which recently lost in the semifinals of the US Bracket at
NEW YORK -- Although the Mets did not take batting practice prior to Sunday's game against the Nationals, the field was a flurry of activity. Mickey Callaway took the mound, throwing BP to the Staten Island Little League team, which recently lost in the semifinals of the US Bracket at the Little League World Series.
Originally, the Mets were scheduled to watch Staten Island's quarterfinal in Williamsport, Penn., on the morning of the Little League Classic. But because their plane landed late, the Mets missed that game.
:: Little League Classic presented by GEICO ::
To make it up to the Staten Island Little Leaguers, the Mets invited them to watch batting practice before the Little League Classic later that night, then scheduled them to come to Citi Field to take some hacks of their own.
"A lot of kids dream to come to the Mets' stadium and take BP, and meet the guys," said Derek Mendez, who pitched and played third base for Staten Island. "It's really cool."
Mendez put his time at Citi Field to good use, asking Todd Frazier -- a former Little League World Series champion -- for pointers at third base. Michael Conforto and other Mets also spent time around the cage, watching the Little Leaguers hit.
"This is just completely over the top," said Staten Island coach Joe Calabrese. "It's amazing how gracious the Mets have been to our kids. From the Classic to here, this is unbelievable. These kids are going through like a regular big league pregame. It's just a great experience for them. It's surreal. It really is."
Since returning home to Staten Island earlier this week, the 12- and 13-year-olds have become local celebrities. Mendez was thrilled to note that "a lot of people as for pictures and autographs, even when I'm just walking around," adding, "it feels like I'm in MLB."
For at least one morning on Sunday, he and his teammates were.
"Really, really good kids," Callaway said. "Obviously, they're having fun, and they can really swing the bat. Maybe we'll see a couple of them up here one day."
Anthony DiComo has covered the Mets for MLB.com since 2007. Follow him on Twitter @AnthonyDiComo, Instagram and Facebook.