Dec 6, 2019

Pete Alonso: 2019 NL Rookie of the Year & HR Leader

Peter Morgan Alonso was born December 7th, 1994 in Tampa Florida. His Queens roots go back to his grandfather on his fathers side. He fled Barcelona Spain during the Spanish Civil War & settled in New York City, in Queens. Alonso's parents are Pete Sr. & Michelle Alonso. 

He began playing baseball, football & lacrosse in high school, focusing solely on base ball by his junior year. 

He then attended the University of Florida playing first base for the Florida Gators. There he made freshman All South Eastern & played in two College World Series. He was selected by the New York Mets in the second round of the 2016 MLB draft.

In 2016 he played with the A Ball Brooklyn Cyclones where he hit 5 HRs with 21 RBIs in just 30 games.  He would move on to A ball St. Lucie in 2017, hitting 16 HRs 52 RBIs in 82 games before getting promoted to AA Binghamton in August.

 He started out 2018 in Binghamton but was quickly promoted to AAA Las Vegas, representing the Mets in the Futures Game. That year he combined for 119 RBIs & 36 HRs, winning the Joe Bauman HR Award.


He did not get a September call up that season, disappointing him & the fans as well. He was invited to Spring Training in 2019 & his debut was highly anticipated. 

He played so well he made the Opening Day roster going North to Queens with the team.

He was the Mets Opening Day first baseman & collected his first career hit that day off Justin Miller in the Mets win over the Nationals.

Trivia: It was during the first games of 2019, that Mets third base coach, Gary DiSarcina gave Alonso the nickname "Polar Bear". It would first be go public by the start of April.

In his second game of the year, he hit a pair of doubles & drove in two runs in the Mets 11-8 win. 

On April 1st 2019, in south Florida, in the Mets fourth game of the season, Pete Alonso hit his first career HR, a three run shot off the Marlins, Drew Steckenrider. 

The Mets went on to a 7-3 win that night as a new era for a Mets slugger began. 

After the game Alonso squeezed into a clubhouse cart & his team mates doused him with everything they could find. "A couple of eggs," Alonso said. "Barbecue sauce. Mayonnaise. Beer. Shaving cream. Maybe ketchup and mustard. Maybe relish."




On April 6th at Citi Field, he hit HR #2, a 427 foot shot, off the Nats, Justin Miller in a 6-5 Mets win. It was his first HR at home in New York. The next day he hit another HR, this one off the Nats Matt Grace in a 12-9 loss.

On April 9th, Alonso had his first multi HR game, hitting two more at Citi Field in a 14-8 loss to the Minnesota Twins. The HRs came off Twins hurlers, Adalberto Mejia & Chase De Jong. 

In his first ten career games, he had 5 HRs 15 RBIs & was batting .385. He became the first plaeyer since 1900 to have 11 extra base hits in his first ten games, no other player ever had nine. Quite a start for the Rookie.

On April 11th, he hit a massive 454 foot HR, off the Braves Johnny Venters in a 6-3 Mets win. Alonso had homered in three of his last fout games.

Eight days later, Alonso's 7th HR came off Ryan Helsley of the St. Louis Cardinals in a 5-4 Mets win.

Two after that, he was suppose to sit out a game after getting hit in the hand. But he texted his manager when he found out Dakota Hudson was pitching, saying I hate that guy I played against him in college. Manager Mickey Callaway put him in, he left St. Louis hitting his 8th HR, coming off pitcher Dakota Hudson. 

Closing out April, Alonso hit his 9th HR, this one came off Milwaukee's Alex Claudio, in a 8-6 loss at Citi Field. 

On April 30th, he had his first career walk off hit. In the 10th inning of a tied game with the Cincinnati Reds, after Jeurys Familia blew a two run lead, JD Davis doubled & was brought over to third on Jeff McNeils single. Alonso hot a sac fly to right field scoring McNeil with the game winning run.

His nine HRs led all MLB Rookies & is tied with four Mets players for most HRs before May 1st.

He also tied Met records for most HRs & RBIs in a single month. That month he had seven multi RBI games & ten multi hit games. He won the Rookie of the Month Award.

MAY:
On May 4th, as the Mets went to Milwaukee, Alonso blasted his 10th HR of the year, it was an opposite field shot off Junior Guerra in a 4-3 Mets loss.




On May 7th, the Mets went to beautiful San Diego, where Alonso hit a game winning top of the 9th inning HR, breaking a 5-5 tie.

 It was his 11th of the year, this one coming off pitcher Adam Warren in the 7-6 Mets win. In the game he had three hits & drove in four runs, the second highest single game RBI total he would have in 2019.


On May 11th, he helped the Mets in a 4-1 Citi Field win over the Marlins with a solo shot off Sandy Alcantara.

On May 17th, as the Mets were in South Florida, getting swept by the lowly Marlins, Alonso had his second multi HR game. It came in the 8-6 loss against pitchers; Trevor Richards & Nick Anderson, both solo shots.

On May 20th, the Mets were on a rare 2019 four game win streak up to that point, sweeping the Washington Nats at Citi Field. His 15th HR came off Patrick Corbin, a solo shot. 

The next day he hit another dramatic, game saver. With one out in the home 8th down 5-4, Alonso homered off Tanner Rainey to tie the game. Amed Rosario's walk off HR won it in the bottom of the 9th.

On May 28th in a 9-8 loss to the Tigers at home, Alonso homered off  Zac Reininger, another solo shot #17 of the year.

On May 29th, at Dodger Stadium in Los Angeles, Alonso had his third multi HR game.

 He hit two HRs off Walker Buehler, both two run shots in the 9-8 loss. He had three hits in the game driving in four runs, bringing his total to 19 HRs & 43 RBIs.

That HR tied him with Mark McGwire for most HRs by a Rookie before June 1st. 






JUNE: In a June 4th loss to the Giants, he hit his 20th HR of the year, this time off pitcher Madison Bumgarner. The next time up Bumgarner hit him with a pitch.

Later that week, on June 8th, Alonso hit #21 off Jake McGee of the Rockies. It put New York ahead for good in the home 7th inning in the 5-3 win.

In the subway series, June 11th double header, Alonso hit a 1st inning three run HR off James Paxton in the Bronx, as the Mets went on to a 10-4 win, splitting the twin bill. 



Four days later, he hit #23 off the Cards Michael Wacha, in a wild 9-8 Met win over St. Louis. This one was measured at 458 feet, the longest by a Met in 2019.



Three days later in Atlanta, Alonso had a four hit day & hit his 24th HR, coming off Julio Teheran in a 10-2 win. The Mets were in a 4 of 5 losing streak.

As the team moved on to Wrigley Field, Alonso hit HRs in three of the four games. In the first game he homered off Tyler Chatwood for #25. 

His next two HRs were both mile stones, in the youngsters career. He hit #26 setting the record for most HRs by a rookie before the All Star break. The previous record was held by the Dodgers Cody Bellinger in 2017. That HR was off the Cubs Jose Quintana.

His HR #27 made Mets history, being the most HRs ever hit by a Mets Rookie in an entire season. Darryl Strawberry had 26 HRs in 1983. This milestone HR came off Cole Hamels. The Mets split the series in the Friendly Confines. 



Alonso closed out June with #28 off the Braves, Mike Soroka. Alonso ended the month of June with 28 HRs 64 RBIs & batting .278.

JULY:
As the Phillies rolled into town in early June, Alonso hit two more HRs in the three game set. The first was off Vince Velasquez & then two days later #30 came off Aaron Nola. It was just the second time in Mets history that a Met batter had 30 HRs before the All Star break. Dave Kingman first did it in 1976.

From there Pete Alonso had the honor of being named to the NL All Star team & compete in the HR Derby, in Cleveland. He had his cousin pitch to him in the derby and went on to hit 57 overall HRs.

He didn't hit the most, but hit them when they counted. He is the first Met to win the title outright. Darryl Strawberry tied with Wally Joyner back in 1986. He was also just the second rookie to win a derby.

Quotes- Pete Alonso: “It's survive and advance, You've got to go in with kind of a killer instinct. It doesn't matter how many you hit; you just need to have one more than the guy you're facing.”

He won a million dollars in the derby & donated 5% to The Wounded Warrior Project & 5% to Tunnel To Towers Foundation.

“I respect anyone who puts their life on the line every single day, going to work knowing that they may have to make the ultimate sacrifices,” Alonso said. “There are people that are making sacrifices every single day abroad keeping us free and then there are people at home keeping us safe.”



 A week later, on July 17th, he hit #31 off Matt Magill of the Twins in a Mets 14-4 blow out win. This mammoth shot was measured at 474 feet & reportedly broke a statcast record.

Quotes- Pete Alonso: "It's not every day you kind of connect like that, so that felt good. That felt really, really good." 



The next series in San Francisco he hit HRs in two of the three games. #32 came off Williams Jerez & went past a flock of seagulls in the left field seats. #33 came off Derek Holland, in a pinch hitting role off the bench.

After the HR derby he began to slump & everyone blamed the Derby. Mets broadcaster, Keith Hernandez pointed out every Rookie goes through a slump. By now the Mets were all hitting, scoring runs & going on a seven game win streak, ten of eleven.

On July 26th, he hit #34 in Pittsburgh, off pitcher Dario Agrazal, a solo shot in the 6-3 Mets win. Nine days later in the longest streak where he hadn't hit a HR, he contributed to a big Mets inning. 

AUGUST:

On August 5th, the Mets were down by two runs in the second game of a double header with the Marlins at Citi Field.

The Mets blasted three HRs in the inning, JD Davis, Michael Conforto & then Alonso hit his #35 of the season. It came off Jeff Brigham, losing pitcher, as the Mets went on to the twin bill sweep & their 10th win in 11 games.

After the game in the on field interview, he addressed the fans with LFGM!!

Alonso went on a roll homering in four straight games, as the Mets went on another eight game win streak, right up in the front of the wild card race. 

For Alonso #36 came on the next night on August 6th, as the Mets won their fifth straight, 11 of 12. His shot similar to #35 down the left field line, off pitcher Hector Noesi.

On August 7th he wasted no time, homering in the 1st inning, a two run shot off Jordan Yamamoto. 

On Friday August 9th, he electrified the Citi Field crowd with his 38th HR of the year, coming in the 4th inning off Steven Strasburg, in a big win over the Washington Nats. Michael Conforto followed with a back to back shot.

After what seemed like four very long days, with not hitting a HR, Alonso homered (#39) tying the NL record set by the Dodgers Cody Bellinger in 2017. In his big game, Alonso drove in a career high six runs. His HR was a 1st inning three run shot off Atlanta's Julio Teheran. 

Alonso had a two run single in the 5th & topped off his big night with an RBI single in the 7th, as the Mets salvaged the final game of the three game series against the division leading Braves.

Pete Alonso is now in the record book with most HRs in a season by a National League Rookie. But he was not going to stop there.








In the second game of a three game series in Kansas City, Alonso doubled & drove in three runs. It was the first of three straight games he would drive in a pair of runs.

Sunday August 18th 2019: In the Mets big 11-5 win at Kansas City, Pete Alonso went into the record books. He hit a 9th inning solo shot off Jacob Barnes for his 40th HR of the year. His incredible Rookie season is now highlighted by setting the all time NL HR record for Rookies. The Amazing Alonso went 2-4 in the game, with two runs batted in for his 95th RBI of the year. 



On August 24th, back at Citi Field the Mets hosted the division leading Atlanta Braves. The Mets were in a tight wild card race with five teams fighting for the spots. He highlighted a Mets four run 5th inning, with a three run HR off Max Fried leading to a 9-5 Mets victory. The HR tied a Mets single season HR (41) record alongside Carlos Beltran & Todd Hundley. 

This week set the Mets back as they went on a six game losing streak, falling back in the wild card race. In a loss to the Cubs Alonso homered on August 27th, ending August with 42 HRs.

SEPTEMBER:

Alonso started out September with a bang, as the Mets broke the losing streak & remained in the wild card race. He would hot safely in his first eight games that month & homer in three of them while driving in eight runs in that stretch.

In a big three game set in D.C where the Mets took of three, Alonso homered in two of those games.

On September 6th, with the Mets & Phillies tied in the bottom of the 9th at Citi Field, Juan Lagares & JD Davis both singled with two outs. 

Reliever Nick Vincent came in & hot Jeff McNeil with a pitch. He then walked Pete Alonso, allowing Lagares to score with the game winning run. The Mets celebrated with their 2019 antic of ripping off the game winning walk off batters jersey.

On September 9th, the Mets started a four game sweep of the Arizona D-backs, in the opener where Jacob deGrom got his 9th win of the season, Alonso hit a pair of HRs off pitcher, Merrill Kelly. The HRs were #46 & #47 on the season. The Mets were four games out of the wild card race at this point.

911 Tribute:  911: On the 18th Anniversary of the 911 tragedies, Pete Alonzo had patriotic 911 commemorative cleats made for everyone of his team mates. 

Quotes- Pete Alonso: "No one really knows how deep those emotional scars can be. Living here, just kind of interacting with everybody, I've tried to immerse myself in the New York living. I see traces of it every single day. Little bits and pieces of it. I just want to show recognition to all the people who are heroes."

" Ordinary people who felt a sense of urgency is an admirable quality. This is for all those people who lost their lives and all those people who did so much to help.

In that game he went 0-3 with a walk. From there Alonso went back to work. After not hitting a HR for a week, which seemed like an eternity, he went back to the chase for the all time single season HR record.

Alonso responded by hitting
HRs in three straight games. On September 17th in Colorado, he had two hits & a pair of RBIs with a two run HR off Tim Melville in a 6-1 Mets win. The Mets were four games behind the second wild card spot. The next night he hit his 49th HR of the season in the Mets 7-4 win. 

The Mets road trip moved to Cincinnati & on September 20th, he made history once again, as he hit #50. 

In the 8th inning, with Jeff McNeil on base, Alonso made history once again. He launched a massive HR into the right field steam boat, as estimated 437 foot shot. He became the first Met in team history to hit 50 HRs & was now just one of two MLB Rookies to ever hit as many as 50 or more HRs. It was also the third straight game he had homered in.



On September 25th, with the Mets all but eliminated from the wild card race, four games out with five to play, Alonso hit a three run HR against the Marlins in the Mets 10-3 win. Now with 52 homers he was one shy of the all time single season MLB HR record.

Two games later that milestone would be reached, On September 27th in a 4-2 Mets win over the Atlanta Braves, Alonso connected with the record tying HR in the 1st inning, a solo line drive shot down the left field line off Dallas Keuchel.

On Saturday September 28th, in the next to last game of the season, Mets history as well as MLB history was made. In the 3rd inning, Pete Alonso blasted a long HR to centerfield off Braves pitcher Mike Foltynewicz. 

The 32000 plus fans, mostly there to see the record breaking HR, gave him a standing ovation & all his team mates awaited at home plate to greet him. With his parents & fiancĂ©e all in attendance at Citi Field, getting all caught up in the moment, Alonso broke down with tears. 



Quotes- Pete Alonso: "It's surreal. It was almost like an out of body experience. Unbelievable moment. This is more than a dream. This is more than a fantasy. I cant put it into words."

The Mets went on to 1 3-03 win behind Steven Matz & finished the season with a sweep of the Braves. They missed the playoffs but win 86 games.

Pete Alonso went on the win the NL Rookie of the year Award. His 53 HRs are the most ever by a Rookie in MLB history. He became the fourth Met in team history joining, Dave Kingman, Darryl Strawberry & Howard Johnson to lead the league in HRs.

He also finished with 120 RBIs (3rd in the NL) 155 hits 30 doubles 2 triples 72 walks 103 runs scored (9th in the NL) 183 strike outs (3rd most in the NL)  a .358 on base % & a .583 slugging % (6th most in the NL). He also led the league in extra base hits (85) was second in HRs per at bat (11.3) as well as games played (161).

Family: Pete is engaged to his long time girlfriend Haylee Renee Walsh.

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