It began as a normal day at the ballpark for a young Mets fan on Saturday.

Arriving early to Citi Field in New York, the boy and his family watched batting practice ahead of the Mets’ afternoon game against the visiting Miami Marlins.

But things began to change once Mets left-handed pitcher Jonathon Niese spotted the boy in the stands wearing a Mets uniform with Niese’s No. 49.

Ok, this is the time when an excited fan hopes to get his favourite player’s autograph.

Maybe the professional athlete signs a ball or his name on a piece of paper.

Or, perhaps he allows the boy to lean over the barrier between the stands and playing surface for a quick picture.

Not on this sun-soaked day.

Niese invited the youngster on the field to play catch.

Mets third baseman David Wright has done something similar with fans a couple of times (see below).

Niese makes like Mets catcher Travis d’Arnaud and squats, allowing the boy to throw some pitches for a couple of minutes.

When they’re done, Niese gives the boy the ball and walks him back to his parents in the stands, where he signs the ball and the boy’s jersey.

Niese didn’t have to do this, especially on a day when he could have been receiving treatment on his ailing left (throwing) shoulder.

He’s on the 15-day disabled list with some inflammation in the acromio-clavicular joint, resumed throwing on Thursday and is expected to rejoin the Mets’ starting rotation on July 21 in Seattle.

Oh yeah, New York overcame a 4-2 deficit to beat the Marlins 5-4 on Saturday.

A great day at the park for the players, but a more memorable day for one lucky Mets fan.

Have you had the opportunity to play catch with your favourite major leaguer or rubbed shoulders with a professional athlete?

If so, please share your experience in the comment section below.