Edgardo Alfonzo: 2000 NL Champion Mets Second Baseman (1995 - 2002)

Edgardo Antonio Alfonzo was born November 8, 1973, in Santa Teresa, Miranda Venezuela.

His oldest brother played minor league ball from 1985-1996 & his other brother played in 1993-1994. They also became coaches & scouts in the minor leagues after their playing days.

The five foot eleven Edgardo, right-handed hitting infielder was signed by the New York Mets as an undrafted free agent in 1991 at age 17.

In his first two seasons at low level A ball he hit over .330, moving to St. Lucie in 1993 where he hit .294 with 84 RBIs. By 1994 he was leading the AA Binghamton Mets in HRs (15) & RBIs (75) batting .293.

Mets Career: He made the 1995 Mets squad and debuted that April on opening day as pinch hitter going 0-1. He proved to be a versatile infielder and worked his way into the lineup getting into over 100 games, playing mostly third base. He would also fill in at short & second if needed.

He struggled in the first half of the season, batting .254 but hit well over .300 in the second half. He finished up his rookie year batting .278 with 93 hits 4 HRs 13 doubles & 41 RBIs in 101 games. 

Over the next seven years Alfonso became a regular in the Mets infield, he never made more than 12 errors in a season & posted some of the league’s top fielding percentages in that time. 

1996: The year started with the Mets putting Jeff Kent at third base & Jose Vizcaino at second. Alfonso would play primarily at second base, but backed up the both of them, in a utility role. On July 29th, the Mets traded both of them to Cleveland & brought in Carlos Baerga.

Alfonso didn't hit his first HR until July 14th. His next HR came on July 29th, a two-run shot coming in Pete Harnisch's four hit shutout. By August he saw more playing time & drove in 13 runs that month. That month the Mets fired Dallas Green & hired Bobby Valentine as manager as a new Mets era began.

On September 19th, Alfonso hit two HRs at Philadelphia in a 7-2 win over the Phillies. On the year he batted a modest .261 hitting 4 HRs 15 doubles & 41 RBIs getting 368 at bats in 123 games. The Mets finished fourth that year 71-91.

1997: Alfonso became the Mets main third baseman for 1997, his defense got him to come in second for the Gold Glove voting. After a slow start he began to hit well in May, getting his average up to .300 at one point. In late June he went on an 18-game hitting streak which raised his average up to .332. 

He started to drive in runs & prove he was a solid player who could produce. On July 6th he doubled in the 7th inning in a game against the Florida Marlins tying it up 2-2. The Mets went on to win it in the bottom of the 9th on a Carl Everett walk off hit. 

On June 21st his two run HR in the 8th inning off the Pirates Marc Wilkins put the Mets ahead & was the game winner. From there he drove in runs in five straight games, including two one run wins over the Atlanta Braves.

Walk Off Sac Fly: On August 5th, Alfonso's 10th inning sac fly off the Cardinals' John Frascatore, scored Bernard Gilkey with the games winning run for the Mets walk off win.

Grand Slam: On August 14th, he hit a grand slam HR off the Cardinals' Donovon Osborne in a 6-2 Mets win. It was his first career grand slam.

On August 25th he had a huge four hit day driving in five runs against the San Francisco Giants at Shea Stadium. Overall, he drove in 22 runs on the month & was batting .335 with a .410 on base %.

Then a modest September had him finish the year hitting .315 (8th in the league) which was best on the Mets team. He was second to John Olerud with a .391 on base %, hitting 10 HRs with 27 doubles, 84 runs scored & 72 RBIs.

The improved Mets finished 88-74 but were still in third place.

1998: Alfonso remained as the Mets main third baseman & once again was second in the Gold Glove voting. He became known as a hero in his hometown in Venezuela & the Mets inked him to a four-year $18 million deal. His presence was not just recognized on the field, as he became a clubhouse leader as well.

This season began to hit for more power as his batting average dropped off. In June he drove in seven runs at Florida on road trip series against the Marlins. 

In the stretch of June 11th through the 21st he drove in 11 runs, collecting 15 hits. On July 1st, Alfonso hit a pair of HRs in Toronto driving in three runs in a wild 15-10 Mets loss at Skydome. 

On July 21st he drove in a pair of runs in a 4-0 win at Shea Stadium over the Pittsburgh Pirates, Rick Reed & John Franco combined on the shut out. The next day in a double header in Milwaukee, Alfonso drove in the winning run with a top of the 9th inning double in the first game. He drove in two more runs in the second game as the Mets swept the twin bill.

In August he raised his average twenty points with two seven game hit streaks, driving in ten runs in the first two weeks of the month. 

On August 1st his 9th inning double off Jeff Shaw gave the Mets a walk off win against the LA Dodgers. On August 6th he hit a three run HR off Orel Hershiser in San Francisco, helping the Mets in a 9-8 win. Two days later he homered in Colorado helping the Mets in a 4-3 win. 

In the first game of an August 21st double header, his HR was the only run in a 1-0 Mets win over the Cardinals. From there he drove in runs in five of six games. 

On August 29th, he faced Jeff Shaw again in Los Angeles, trailing 3-2 with two outs & a runner on first. Alfonso hit his 12th HR of the year, putting New York ahead with the winning run in a 4-3 win.

On the 1998 season he batted .278 with 17 HRs 28 doubles & 78 RBIs posting a .355 on base %. At third base his .976 fielding % & 117 put outs were second in the NL. He was second in the Gold Glove voting for the second straight year.
 
1999 Mets Wild Card Season: In the off season the Mets acquired Robin Ventura to play third base. The ever-changing infielder Edgardo Alfonso moved over to play second base. At first, he was upset at the switch but settled in to master that position as well.

He finished up having the best fielding percentage of all NL second baseman .993%. Fonzie committed just five errors in over 400 chances in 158 games at the position.
  
The 1999 Mets infield was one if the finest ever assembled on a diamond. Tom Verducci of Sports Illustrated dubbed them “the best ever" in a feature article. 


1999 Mets Infield
Right out of the gate he got two hits in the Opening day loss in Florida. He hit safely in nine of his first ten games, five of those games were multi hit games. 

On April 10th, he tied the game up with an 8th inning base hit off the Expos Steve Kline. The Mets went on to win it in the top of the 11th with a Todd Pratt single.

In May Alfonso hit in all but seven games raising his average near the .300 mark. On May 7th, he had three hits with a HR, while driving in three runs at Arizona in a 14-7 Mets loss to the Diamondbacks. 

On May 12th he hit a long two run HR in Colorado, adding a double while driving in four runs in the Mets 10-5 victory. He drove in five runs over the next two games in a series at Philadelphia giving him a total of ten RBIs over a four-game span.

He began June hitting safely in 14 of 15 games. From June 12th to June 18th, he drove in at least one run in each game, over a seven-game span.  That streak continued through July as he drove in runs in 13 of 16 games, with 22 RBIs in the month.

On July 4th, with the Mets behind the Atlanta Braves 6-4, Alfonzo hit a three run HR off John Smoltz in the bottom of the 7th inning, leading New York to a 7-6 win.

On a mid-July Road trip, the Mets took two of three from the Tampa Rays, pulling out both games with one run wins. Alfonso drove in at least one run in each game.  On that road trip, he drove in nine runs, gathering an RBI in all but one game, as the Mets went 6-2 in those games. 

On July 25th he homered off the Cubs Steve Trachsel, making the difference in the 2-1 Mets win
at Shea. 
On August 1st, his 10th inning sac fly put the Mets ahead of the Cubs at Wrigley Field. The Cubs tied the game but the Mets won it on pitcher Pat Mahomes 13th inning RBI base hit.

To start out August he drove in 17 runs in the first twelve games of the month. He drove in runs on five straight games from August 4th to the 9th.

Five RBI Night: In a Shea Stadium night game on August 11th, Alfonso hit a 1st inning two run HR off Sterling Hitchcock of the Padres. In the 5th he hit a two run double to center scoring Pat Mahomes & Rickey Henderson. In the 7th he drew a bases loaded walk to complete his season high five RBI night in a 12-5 Mets win.

Three HR 6-6 Night: He would match that feat on August 30th in Houston, starting out with a 1st inning solo HR off Shane Reynolds. 

In the 4th, he connected off Brian Williams with a two-run shot & then hit a leadoff HR in the 6th inning to match his season high five RBI night, coming in the Mets 12-5 win. 

The three HRs were a season high as well & the only time he had a multi-HR game in 1999. That night he had one of the best nights of his career going 6-6.

Quotes- Bobby Valentine: " He gets in an RBI situation & doesn't worry about it, he just hits".
 
On August 15th he had a three-hit night four RBI game in San Francisco, including a HR off Livan Hernandez. 


The next day on August 16th, he hit a HR in the top of the 10th inning off San Diego's Will Cunnane breaking a 3-3 tie leading the Mets to victory.

On August 23rd, he hit his 20th HR of the year, marking the first time he reached that milestone.

As September began the Mets were 3.5 games behind the Atlanta Braves but had the second-best record in the NL, leading the wild card hunt. 

He started the month driving in runs in the first three games, with a two run HR off Brian Bohanon in a 4-2 win over the Rockies at Shea on September 3rd. On September 12th, he hit his 25th HR of the year, a 1st inning two run shot off Greg Gagne in a 10-3 win at Dodger Stadium. The next game he drove in two more runs in a 6-5 win at Colorado.

Overall in September he didn’t drive in as many runs as prior months but did draw 30 walks & scored 16 runs.

He finished the year posting career highs with 27 HRs, 108 RBIs, & a team leading 41 doubles. Alfonzo also set a Mets team record scoring 123 runs (3rd best in the NL). He batted .304 drew 85 walks, posted a .385 on base % & a .886 OPS.

He won the Silver Slugger Award at second base while also leading the team in hits (1532) total bases (315) & sac flies (9). 

Alfonso came in eighth in the MVP voting.

The Mets made it close almost blowing their chances of a playoff berth. They lost 8 of their last 9 games & ended up having to play a tie breaker with the Cincinnati Reds to determine who moves on into the post season.

The Mets lost a coin toss & the game was played in Cincinnati.

Fonzie led the way hitting a 1st inning two run HR off the Reds pitcher Steve Parris setting the tone. The Mets Al Leiter pitched the game of his life, tossing a two-hit shutout, leading the Mets to a 5-0 win & their first playoff berth since 1988.

1999 Post Season- NLDS: The next night the Mets went to Arizona to play the Diamondbacks in the 1999 NLDS. In the 1st inning, Alfonso homered off randy Johnson giving the Mets a 1-0 lead.

In the top of the 9th inning, the score was tied a four. Robin Ventura & Rey Ordonez both singled. Melvin Mora drew a one out walk, setting the stage for Alfonso.

Facing pitcher Bobby Chouinard, Alfonso blasted a grand slam HR breaking the game open, leading the Mets to an 8-4 win.

Alfonso went hitless in Game #2 & doubled with two runs scored in the 9-2 Game #3 win at Shea.

In Game #4, Alfonso led off the 4th inning off Brian Anderson, putting the Mets on the board first.

In the bottom of the 8th inning with the Mets down by a run, Alfonso drew a leadoff walk from Greg Olson. He then advanced to third based on an Arizona error. Roger Cedeno then hit a deep fly to center field, Alfonso scored tying up the game at three.

The Mets went on to win the game & the series on Todd Pratts now classic walk off HR in the 10th inning. 

Overall, in the NLDS Fonzie had three HRs & six RBIs going 4-16 (.250) walking three times & scoring six runs.

1999 NLCS: In the 1999 NLCS the Mets went up against their archrivals, the Atlanta Braves.

In Game #1 Alfonso collected a pair of doubles in the 4-2 loss. In Game #2 he had two more hits with an 8th inning RBI double off Kevin Millwood, the Mets lost that game 4-3.

He was held hitless in the next two games, striking out three times in each contest.

In Game #5, a four-hour, 15 inning epic, Alfonso went 1-6. The Mets won it on Robin Ventura's walk off grand slam single. He collected a hit & walk in the Game #6 loss at Turner Field, ending the Mets fine season.

In the NLCS Alfonso batted only .222 with four doubles & just one RBI.


2000 Mets Pennant Season: He returned in 2000 to have a good April finishing the month hitting in 12 of 16 games, batting at .348 posting a .479 on base %. He drove in 19 runs that month, including a four RBI Day with four hits at Colorado on April 30th.

In May he drove in 23 runs and was batting .355 with a .446 on base % as the month ended. 

On May 10th he drove in three runs in a 13-9 loss to the Pirates. On May 20th he drove in three runs against the Diamondbacks in an 8-7 Mets win & then had another three RBI game in Los Angeles on May 30th in a 10-5 Met win.

In June he hit safely in 15 of 18 games. On June 24th his 8th inning single tied up the game against the Pittsburgh Pirates, he then scored the game winning run-on Todd Zeile's double later in the inning.

In August he started the month in a streak where he hit safely in 10 of 12 games, then finished the month in an 11 of 13 game hit streak. In mid-August he drove in three runs in back-to-back games at Colorado, then went on to a four-hit day in Los Angles on the same road trip.

On August 28th he hit a three run HR in Houston leading the Mets to a 4-2 win over the Astros, the only other Mets run came in on a balk. 

In September he was consistent in the Mets wild card chase, hitting seven HRs in the month driving in 15 runs. He drove in thirteen of those runs in the final two weeks of the season.

Overall, in the 2000 season he batted a career high .324, with 25 HRs, 94 RBIs, leading the team with 40 doubles, 109 runs scored, 95 walks & a .425 on base percentage (5th in the NL).

His 276 times on base was 10th in the league. He made the All-Star team and was one of the best all-around second baseman in the game, posting a .985 fielding %.

2000 Post Season- NLDS: The Mets went on to face the San Francisco Giants in the NLDS.

In the Game #1 Mets loss Alfonso was 1-5. In Game #2 at San Francisco, his only hit came in the 9th inning. With two outs & the Mets up 2-1, Timo Perez was on first base. Alfonso hit a long HR to left center field giving the Mets a 4-1 lead.

In the bottom of the 9th, Armando Benitez would blow the lead, giving up a three run HR to J.T. Snow. The Mets went on to win it in the tenth inning after Jay Payton singled home Daryl Hamilton.

In Game #3 at Shea Stadium, the Mets were down 2-1 in the 8th inning. Mike Bordick was hit by a pitch to start the inning. 

Lenny Harris came in to run for him. Alfonso doubled down the line off Giants closer Rob Nenn, driving in Lenny Harris to tie the game. Up to that point Nenn hadn’t blown a save since the All-Star break. 

The Mets went on to win this one with a dramatic walk off Benny Agbayani HR in the bottom of the 13th. Centerfieldmaz was in attendance for this game.

In Game #4 the Mets Bobby Jones tossed a one hitter, giving the Mets a 4-0 shut out, advancing them to their second straight NLCS. In the 5th inning, Alfonso hit a two run double to give the Mets the 4-0 lead.

In the NLDS against the Giants, Alfonso went 5-18 (.278) with two doubles, a HR, a walk & five RBIs. Benny Agbayani & Timo Perez also led the club with five series RBIs.

2000 NLCS:
In the NLCS Alfonso tore up St. Louis Cardinals pitching, batting .444 (8-18) with four walks, four RBIs and five runs scored. He posted a .565 on base percentage scoring and driving in at least one run in all but one of the five games.


In Game #1at St. Louis, he walked in the first inning & scored the second run of the game on Robin Ventura's sac fly. In the Mets 5th, he singled home Daryl Hamilton giving the Mets a 3-0 win. They went on to win it 6-3.

In Game #2 Alfonso's single in the top of the 8th inning off Matt Morris, scored Timo Perez to break up a 3-3 tie, he would come around to score on Todd Zeile's two run single. Alfonso had two hits two walks & two runs scored, in a game the Mets went on to win 6-5.

As the series shifted to New York, the Cards took Game #3 with Alfonso collecting two more hits.

In Game #4 he drove in the first run of the game with a ground rule double in the first inning, scoring Timo Perez. It was the only hit he had in the Mets 10-6 win, giving them a 3-1 Series lead.

 In the final Game #5 clincher at Shea Stadium, in front of 55,695 wild Mets fans at Shea
(Including centerfieldmaz) the upper deck was literally shaking as the Mets went on to clinch the pennant. 

In the bottom of the 1st, Alfonso drove in the first run of the game again with a single bringing home Timo Perez. Alfonso would score on Robin Ventura's single, as the Mets put up three on the board while sending ten men to the plate.

In the 7th inning, Fonzie was at bat when Rick Ankiel threw two wild pitches to him, nowhere near the strike zone. The Mets fans let him have it, as one wild pitch even brought in a run. Alfonso had two hits in the 7-0 Mike Hampton shut out. 

2000 World Series Hit
Trivia: Alfonso insisted that his brother Edgar be allowed in the clubhouse to celebrate with him after the pennant victory.

2000 Subway World Series:  For the 2000 World Series, there was plenty of fanfare & hype as New York had its first subway series since 1956, just before the Dodgers & Giants left town.

In Game #1 Alfonso went hitless until the 7th inning. With the score tied 2-2 & runners on second & third, Alfonso hit a weak ground ball to third base, Scott Brosius couldn't make a play & the go ahead run scored as Alfonso reached with an infield hit.

In Game #2 highlighted by Roger Clemmens tossing a bat in the direction of Mike Piazza after it had shattered, Alfonso didn't collect a hit until the 9th inning. With the Mets down 6-0 they made a strong comeback but fell one run short to go down two games to none in the series.

Over the next three games he went 1-12 as the Mets season ended. In the World Series he hit just .143 (3-21).

After the Pennant: In 2001Alfonso suffered from a bad back. He missed 38 games but also had it affect his hitting as he hit a career low .243. 

In April he drove in runs in seven of the last nine games of the month. He hit four HRs in May but was only hitting .250 at the end of the month. 

After missing a week of action returned on June 7th to hit a two run HR & drive in three runs leading New York to a 6-5 win at Philadelphia.

He went on the disabled list from June 13th through July 2nd, returning to have a weak month hitting just one HR. He had a better month in August hitting 5 HRs with 17 RBIs. 

On August 26th he drove in four runs against the San Francisco Giants hitting a three run HR leading the Mets to a 6-5 win. He drove in two more runs the next day & had eight RBIs in a six-game stretch.

Post 911: In the first game played after the September 11th attacks on New York City, he went 1-4 in the game at Pittsburgh. 

In the first game played back in New York City after the 911 attacks, it was an emotion night as the heroes & the fallen were honored. The Mets took on their rival Atlanta Barves, It is now best known for the highlight, when Mike Piazza hit his classic game 8th inning HR that won the game. Fonzie had one hit that memorable night. 

On September 30th he hit two HRs leading the Mets past the Braves 9-6 in Atlanta.

In 2001 Fonzie hit 17 HRs with 22 doubles, a .322 on base % & drove in 49 runs in 124 games.

2002: At the start of the season Alfonso was healthy again & was back at third base after Robin Ventura had departed. The Mets brought in Roberto Alomar for second base but he failed miserably.

Alfonso started the year with three hits on Opening Day in the Mets 6-2 win over the Pittsburgh Pirates at Shea. On April 15th he hit a walk off RBI single against the Atlanta Braves giving the Shea fans a big thrill beating their archrivals.

On June 7th he singled breaking a 3-3 tie in the top of the 7th inning off Danny Baez in Cleveland, leading the Mets to a 4-3 interleague victory. 

The next day he singled with the bases loaded in the 7th inning, giving the Mets the lead once again. They rallied & went on to win this one 8-6.

Bu early June the Mets started their decent & fell to 16.5 games back of first by early August. The season was a bust, the new players Mo Vaugh, Roberto Alomar, Jeromy Burnitz, Pedro Astacio, Scott Strickland & Sean Estes didn't work out.

Later in the month, he drove in two runs in two separate games against the Minnesota Twins & Kansas City Royals. Both games were won by the Mets by one run. From June 12th through June 20th, he hit five HRs & went on to drive in runs in ten straight games.

In August he missed three weeks of action landing on the DL with a strained oblique muscle, but still hit HRs in three games & had three RBI games as well.

He rebounded from the previous season to lead the team in batting in 2002 (.308) walks (62) runs (78) & on base percentage (.391). He hit 16 HRs, with 56 RBIs & 27 doubles. 

At third base Alfonso made 12 errors in 385 chances there posting a .969 fielding %. The Mets finished fifth & it was Bobby Valentines last season managing as he was fired & the Mets hired Art Howe.

The injuries began to wear Alfonso down physically, and at an age where he was expected to be in his prime, he was winding down his career. The Mets chose not to sign him for 2003 and he went west to the San Francisco Giants.

Class Act: Being the gentleman he was, he bought ad time thanking the fans of New York for their support. The ads were launched on Valentine's Day, sported on various cabs & bus billboards throughout New York City. He left the Mets among the top of many club records. 

All Time Mets Leader Board: As a Met he collected 1136 hits (5th all time) 614 runs scored (5th all time) 212 doubles (6th all time) 538 RBIs (7th all time) 1086 games played (10th all time) & 120 HRs (12th all time)

Fonzie also posted a .292 Mets batting average & in two post seasons, he batted .277 with 4 HRs & 18 RBIs.

Post Mets Career: He played three seasons in San Francisco having two good years but never matching his Mets numbers. In 2003 he batted .258 driving in 81 runs with 25 doubles & 13 HRs.

In 2004 he hit better for average, batting .289 with 11 HRs with 226 doubles & 77 RBIs. By 2005 he only hit two HRs with 17 doubles & 27 RBIs in 109 games.

He spent 2006 with the Dodgers & Blue Jays before getting released on June 12th.

Post MLB Career: He went on to play in the independent league with the Long Island Ducks. In 2006 the Mets gave him a shot of a return, signing him to a minor league contract, but he didn’t make the club.

Career Stats: In his 12-year MLB career he hit .284 lifetime, with 1532 hits, 282 doubles 18 triples 146 HRs 744 RBIs 596 walks a .357 on base % & a .782 OPS.

Alfonso played 889 games at third base posting a 968 fielding %. He played 549 games at second base posting a .986 fielding % making just 33 errors in 2416 chances. He also played 34 games at short & two games at first base.

Retirement: He played in the Mexican league (2008) then in Japan with the Yomiuri Giants (2009). He returned to the Independant League playing in Newark with the Bears along with former Mets teammate Armando Benitez in 2010.

Honors: Fonzie must be recognized as one of the best Mets all-time top players & was greeted warmly at the closing ceremonies of Shea Stadium in 2008.

Mike Piazza Mets Hall of Fame Induction 2013
In July 2013 he represented the Mets at the MLB All Star Fan Fest. He was also on hand at Citi Field, supporting Mike Piazza as he was inducted into the Mets Hall of Fame. 

Brooklyn Cyclones: In 2014 he was bench coach for the Brooklyn Cyclones under manager Tom Gamboa. Alfonso was then considered for the Mets hitting instructor job but did not get it. 


After Gamboa retired, Alfonzo took over as the Cyclones manager as well as serving as a Mets roving coach. 

In September of 2019 he led the Brooklyn team to a New York Penn. League Championship.

In 2016 he was on hand with John Franco & Rusty Staub raising the Mets 2015 NL Champion Flag. 

Family: Alfonso married his wife Delia in 1995. She had grown up living down the street from him. They have three children.

In 2017 his son Daniel Alfonzo was selected by the New York Mets in the 38th round, out of Bayside High School.

Mets Hall of Fame: In 2021 Alfonso was inducted into the Mets Hall of Fame.

He was also on hand for the Mets 2022 Old Timers Day.



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