A 6-year-old Lodi boy with a rare blood disorder not only went to his first-ever New York Mets game: He got to meet the players, as well as baseball legend Mike Piazza, sat in the dugout -- and even collected a foul ball among other "amazin' " souvenirs.
"What are the odds of a foul ball coming off the bat right at us?" said Bergen County Prosecutor's Chief of Detectives Robert Anzilotti, who led the effort to make the dream come true for A.J. Vigliotti.
A.J., who was born with Beta Thalassemia -- also known as Cooley’s Anemia -- was selected as the office's Chief For the Day event, held two weeks ago.
But Anzilotti and company didn't stop there.
The Mets obliged, rolling out the orange and blue carpet for the awestruck youngster and his family on Thursday night, when the Metropolitans opened a four-game series against the visiting St. Louis Cardinals at Citifield in Flushing.
Wearing a jersey that Anzilotti's office had specially made for him, A.J. went into the locker room to chat with players, as well as Piazza, before grabbing a seat in the dugout.
He also got his own bat -- and whacked a line drive while batting in the cage under the Citifield stands.
He even met Mr. Met, who came to the special box provided by the organization.
A.J. and others affected with Cooley's Anemia must undergo monthly blood transfusions, which, over time, dramatically increase the level of iron in the heart and liver, eventually causing them and other organs to fail.
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