PORT ST. LUCIE, Fla. -- For about five minutes Tuesday at Tradition Field, workouts ground to a halt. It began with a few starting pitchers, wandering over and signing autographs. Then manager Terry Collins called over nearly the entire staff for a group picture with 14-year-old Ryan Williams, who is six months removed from a heart transplant.
"You are now among the best pitching staff in all of baseball," Collins announced to Williams, as fans gathered to check out the commotion.
Williams' relationship with the Mets dates back years. Born with a missing heart valve, he underwent three open-heart surgeries before his sixth birthday. Three years ago, the Make-A-Wish Foundation sent Williams to Citi Field, where he met third baseman David Wright and others. Upon hearing about Williams' transplant last summer, Wright sent out well wishes via video message.
A Fort Pierce, Fla., native who lives a short drive from Tradition Field, Williams has also met outfielder Yoenis Cespedes and, now, most of "the best pitching staff in all of baseball."
Anthony DiComo is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @AnthonyDiComo and Facebook, and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.