Flushing, NY: Pete Alonso is the new rookie home run king of baseball. Saturday night at Citi Field he crushed his 53rd home run and surpassed Aaron Judge for the most home runs by a rookie and the celebration continued for an hour or so after the Mets 3-0 over the Braves.
It’s easy to understand why Alonso has quickly become the new face of the Mets a year to the date that David Wright, the captain, called it a career at Citi Field.
He is loved and respected by his teammates, the media has grown into the concept of Pete Alonso providing the right answers and his rookie season leaves no doubt that writers will make him a unanimous NL Rookie of the Year when the votes are counted in the next few days.
“So proud of Pete,” said Amed Rosario as he quickly left the clubhouse Saturday night.
The Mets are a tight group as a whole. They bonded more as a team during their second half surge that got them back in playoff contention .Pete Alonso, and during that playoff run was the leader as he continued to make a run at baseball history.
“There’s just euphoria and magic,” Alonso said in front of a throng of media in the Mets; clubhouse. “It was like an out of body experience, almost. I felt like I wasn’t standing in the box alone.”
He was not alone. He stepped into the box in that third inning and the 32,210 fans, many who came to witness the possible history, they were with Pete. They chanted and they waited for the pitch.
It was not a long blast out of the ballpark as many of his home runs have been when this rookie season started in April. It was a fastball that went over the right- center field fence.
Alonso was man enough to say, he cried rounding the bases. His teammates hugged Alonso out of the dugout and they also shed some tears. The fans shed some tears and the moment did reminisce a scene that was better than those who portray something like this out of a Hollywood script.
Even the writer’s up in the press box would admit that the moment caused goose bumps, and there was a buzz innings later as Pete Alonso came to bat again and tried to add to his rookie record.
“It’s like he never lets you down,” Mets manager Mickey Callaway said.
Alonso’s mother, Dad, fiance, high school coach, and some friends were in the stands. They would join him on the field an hour or so later for some photos of the rookie home run king.
Fans waited by the players entrance for Alonso and an hour and a half after the final pitch. he greeted them before entering a vehicle with his family and some friends. Then, Alonso, with the biggest smile of any rookie in baseball history, briefly approached the gate and said thank you,
The eventual franchise player of the Mets got back in his vehicle. The lovefest continued as fans ran to the exit area by Tom Seaver Way and needed to see “The Polar Bear” make his exit.
All of this for a 24-year old who was not certain to be on the Opening Day roster. Alonso has also become accustomed to this popularity.
But he does not leave out the important people who got him here. And it is always in that Mets clubhouse where the respect for Pete Alonso is seen.
Fans get to see Alonso one more time as the season concludes Sunday afternoon. Will there be another home run or two before Pete Alonso returns in April?
“I want three more tomorrow,” said a few. And with Pete Alonso, as his manager said, you never know what to expect.
NOTES: Rene Rivera hot his first home run since August 15, 2018, a two run shot to open the scoring…
Edwin Diaz, the 2018 latino Sports AL Relief Pitcher MVP, tossed a perfect ninth inning to earn his first save since August 15.
“Feels great to finish the season on a high note,” Diaz said through an interpreter. He is not expected to be used in the final game Sunday afternoon at Citi Field.
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