Pete Alonso Powers 1st Place Mets Into All-Star Break

Pete Alonso looks like he’s always having fun. The 6’3″, 245-pound New York Mets first baseman is not exactly difficult to find. Whether he’s celebrating a walk-off hit or another Home Run Derby title, he’s the one who’s always smiling and somehow shirtless more often than not. At just 27 years old, Alonso has plenty more tape-measure blasts ahead of him.

Pete Alonso New York Mets Fanatics Authentic Autographed 16

Simply Slugging

If you’ve ever watched Pete Alonso turn a baseball into a cloud of dust, you know that raw power of that magnitude is more than enough to keep a whole stadium entertained.

Sports can be many things to many people. A baseball game can be a non-stop thrill ride, meditative space, strategic chess match, or battle of wills. However, when Pete Alonso’s at the plate, it becomes the simplest spectator sport. The fans in the stands and at home and even the players on the field just want to see how hard Alonso can clobber the baseball. He doesn’t just hit home runs. He hits the kind of home runs that inspire new ways to describe home runs. Alonso hits moonshots. He hits mammoth blasts. He hits hypersonic missiles.

Every time Alonso steps to the plate, he’s likely to create new memorabilia and sports collectibles. Any ball could be the one that he hits into the stands, over the stands, or into the next galaxy.

Starting Strong

Alonso grew up in Tampa and has been forthcoming with reporters about the bullying he overcame as a youngster for his size and weight. Although he starred for the University of Florida at first base, he still remembers receiving a C on an essay about aspirations. The professor commented that his dream of playing professional baseball wasn’t realistic. Never one to give in to doubters, Alonso racked up awards in college, leading the Gators to the College World Series twice and hitting .374 with 14 home runs his junior year. Said his coach, Kevin O’Sullivan, “I honestly feel like every time he comes to the plate he’s going to hit a home run.”

The Mets drafted Alonso in the second round of the 2016 draft and sent him to the play for the Brooklyn Cyclones in the short-season New York-Penn League. Alonso hit five home runs in just 30 games. Despite breaking his hand in 2017, Alonso advanced steadily through the minors, impressing all comers with his power. Alonso strove to keep his approach at the plate as simple as possible. His mantra, “See ball, hit ball,” earned him a nickname from his teammates: Caveman.

In 2018 Alonso was selected to play in the MLB Futures Game, where, surprising no one, he blasted a home run to left field. He also won the Joe Bauman Award for leading the minor leagues in home runs with 36. Just for good measure, he also led the minors in RBIs, with 119.

At the end of the season, Alonso was invited to play in the Arizona Fall League, where he tied for the league lead in homers, with six in just 27 games. Alonso was climbing up the prospect leader boards, and Mets fanatics were clamoring for him to be promoted to Queens. It was just a matter of time.

Pete Alonso New York Mets Fanatics Authentic Autographed Baseball with MLB Rookie Home Run Record Display Case

A Rookie Season to Remember

As a rookie in 2019, Alonso led all of MLB with 53 home runs. In the process, he also broke the Mets franchise record of 42 and Aaron Judge’s all-time rookie record of 52. He achieved the feat on September 29th, celebrating after the game with his parents. “To me, it just means so much,” his mother told reporters. To Pete, she said, “I’m so proud of you.”

2019 was a magical year for many reasons. Alonso wasn’t even sure he would make the big league roster out of camp. When he discovered he’d be starting the year as a Met, he notified his parents. They were on a flight to Washington, where the Mets were due to open the season, just in case they’d have the chance to see him play. As his father filmed his mother’s reaction, he explained to fellow passengers that she was crying happy tears.

Pete Alonso New York Mets Fanatics Authentic Autographed Baseball with

Alonso earned the nickname Polar Bear in spring training of 2019. Fellow Home Run Derby champion Todd Frazier bestowed it upon him, and the reasoning was not exactly convoluted: Alonso looked like a big polar bear. Noah Syndergaard mentioned the nickname to reporters after that first series in Washington, and all of New York quickly embraced it. In June, teammates Jeff McNeil and Dominic Smith brought a giant stuffed polar bear into the dugout to meet with reporters.

Alonso embraced the moniker. In September, teammates ripped Alonso’s shirt off to celebrate a walk-off victory. Asked in an interview whether he needed a blanket on the chilly night, Alonso answered, “No, I’m the polar bear. I’m the polar bear!”

Shirtless celebrations also became a staple of the 2019 Mets. “It’s a fun thing,” Alonso said. “Hopefully, I can rip some more shirts off, and they can rip some shirts off me by the end of this thing.”

In addition to the home run title, Alonso was selected for the All-Star Game and finished seventh in National League Most Valuable Player Voting. He won the National League Rookie of the Month three times before winning the Rookie of the Year Award.

Alonso’s biggest moment of the season also came on the game’s biggest stage. The Polar Bear won the Home Run Derby in Cleveland, hitting 57 home runs and besting fellow rookie sensation Vladimir Guerrero Jr. by just one home run in the final round. In fact, he won each of the three rounds by hitting just one more homer than his adversary. “You’ve got to go in with kind of a killer instinct,” said Alonso. “It doesn’t matter how many you hit; you just need to have one more than the guy you’re facing.” The victory earned Alonso $1 million, and he pledged to donate 5% of the winnings to the Wounded Warrior Project and the Tunnel to Towers Foundation.

Pete Alonso New York Mets Nike 2022 Alternate Replica Player Jersey - Black

Still Slugging

In the pandemic-shortened 2020 season, Alonso followed up with 16 home runs, on pace for 43 throughout a regular 162-game season. His officially licensed sports apparel quickly became a fan favorite, especially his jersey in New York’s lucky black. Sadly, there was no Home Run Derby for him to win.

Despite the two-year wait, Alonso was more than up for the task of defending his title. In the 2021 derby, Alonso defeated all comers. “I think I’m the best power hitter on the planet,” he said. “Being able to showcase that and really put on a fun display for fans, it’s truly a dream come true for me. When I was younger, my parents actually let me stay up past my bedtime to watch this.” Alonso hit 35 home runs alone in the first round. In the second round, he hit 15, beating Juan Soto’s 14 with plenty of time to spare. Squaring off against Baltimore’s Trey Mancini in the finals, Alonso once again batted second and emerged victorious with a considerable amount of the time still on the clock. “I was able to stay consistent and really, really, kind of dominate,” Alonso said. He also didn’t rule out the possibility of competing in the 2022 competition.

In each of his first four seasons, Alonso has finished no worse than third in the National League in home runs. In his first three seasons, at least one ball left Alonso’s bat going at least 118 mph. Alonso is a darling of the new statistic, “barrels,” which counts how many times a player hits a ball both hard and at the right angle to do maximum damage. He currently leads the league with 29 barrels. He finished seventh in 2021 and third in 2019.

Alonso is currently third in the National League with 24 home runs and leads all of MLB with 78 RBI. He’s on pace for 42 home runs and 136 RBIs. If he continues at that pace, he’ll have a historic season only accomplished by MLB greats: Babe Ruth, Lou Gehrig, Joe DiMaggio, and Alex Rodriguez. Unsurprisingly, Alonso is also leading the league in intentional walks. It’s hard to blame pitchers for wanting to avoid him.

Todd Frazier, who originally named Alonso, the Polar Bear, described him as: “Funny in his own little way, with a little goofiness added to it, and people see that quickly and they clam onto him. New York has a really good one there, and I hope he stays there for a long time because he’s going to make the city really happy.” Everyone in Queens seems to agree.



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