Braeden wished to meet his favorite team, the New York Mets, at spring training in Port St. Lucie, Florida. The 14-year-old Make-A-Wish® Northeast New York wish kid is not only a fan, but a ballplayer – a pitcher and first baseman. He hoped to meet his favorite player: First baseman and rising superstar Pete Alonso, who set the team and Major League rookie records for home runs in 2019.
In Florida, the team gave Braeden a full Mets’ uniform – important because he brought out the team’s lineup card to home plate before a Sunday game against the St. Louis Cardinals at Clover Park. The teen met the Mets in the team’s clubhouse and on the field. He chatted up players such as Michael Conforto, Jacob deGrom, Jeff McNeil and former Heisman Trophy winner Tim Tebow, and manager Luis Rojas and his coaches.
“There were so many!” Braeden said. “I can’t even remember them all!”
The family – mom Meredith, dad Eric, sister Avery and Braeden – were allowed on the field and later had the best seats in the house for the game: first row behind home plate. The wish in Florida also included free time to visit nearby relatives, as well as an opportunity to get to the beach. Kelly Stang and Mark McGuire served as the wish granters.
Unfortunately, Pete Alonso and the teen did not connect when the family went to the ballpark. Braeden was not going to meet the star.
On the last day of his wish, at the very hotel where the family was staying, Braeden saw a large man walking his dog.
Could it be? …
Yes, yes it could.
It was Alonso. Braeden and his dad approached, and the Met could not be more engaging, talking to the fellow first baseman, posing for photos and autographing a baseball.
“He was so chill,” Braeden said. “He was just a nice guy.”
And, just like so many of Alonso’s hits, Braeden’s wish was a home run.