"> Pete Alonso Breaks NL Rookie Home Run Record - Overtime Heroics

Pete Alonso Breaks NL Rookie Home Run Record

In the 9th inning of Sunday’s 11-5 win against the Kansas City Royals, Pete Alonso crushed a 418 foot home run to left field. The pitch was a 93 mph fastball from Jacob Barnes. With the home run, Alonso set the NL rookie home run record and became just the 4th Met to reach the 40 home run mark.

The Previous Records

Cody Bellinger set the home run record at 39 during his stellar Rookie of the Year winning season in 2017. Bellinger broke an 87 year old record of 38 home runs set by Boston Braves outfielder Wally Berger in his rookie campaign. It took just two years for the record to fall again, as Alonso continued his dominant rookie season. The two exchanged praise on Twitter following Alonso’s record breaking performance.


The Breakout of Pete Alonso

At the beginning of 2019, there were question marks as to whether or not Alonso would be on the Mets’ roster. There were potential concerns regarding Alonso’s service time and team control towards the end of spring training. However, he earned an Opening Day roster spot and has not looked back.

Since starting opening day, the polar bear slugged his way to a .280/.372/.634 slash line. He hit 30 HR and had 68 RBIs in the first half. He joined Tom Seaver, Jerry Koosman, and Dwight Gooden as the only Mets selected to the All-Star Game as a rookie. Surprisingly, Alonso did not experience much nationwide fan recognition. Cross-town slugger Aaron Judge received quite a bit of national recognition during his record setting rookie campaign. This could be in part due to the Mets disappointing first half. It took a thrilling victory in the 2019 Home Run Derby over rookie phenom Vlad Guerrero Jr. to finally put the polar bear on the map outside of New York (and the North Pole).

Alonso holds trophy after winning HR derby
Alonso holding up the Home Run Derby Trophy (United Press International)

What’s left for Alonso?

Immediately following the All-Star Break, Alonso hit a bit of a slump. However, in his last 13 games, he his hitting .388 with 6 home runs and 17 RBIs, keeping the Mets in the tight NL Wild Card race. Among the awards and milestones, helping his team win it all is what Alonso cared about most.

“To break this record and have a good season and keep playing the way I have been playing and just try to help this team win, this season has been unbelievable. It has been a dream come true so far.”

Alonso told the New York Times following Sunday’s win.

However, there are a few more records that he could break this year. The Mets single season home run record is 41, shared by Carlos Beltran (2006) and Todd Hundley (1996). The RBI record is 124, shared by David Wright (2008) and Mike Piazza (1999). Alonso is currently on pace to hit 52 home runs and 125 RBIs. 52 homers would tie the home run record for all rookies, set by Aaron Judge in 2017.

What’s left for the Mets?

With 38 games remaining in the regular season, the Mets will rely on Alonso to continue his dominant season. In order to help them achieve a NL Wild Card berth, both his talent and leadership will be tested. Towards the beginning of the recent Mets run, Alonso expressed his leadership capabilities by reaching out for Mets fan’s support .

The Mets invested in this team at the trade deadline, and Alonso wanted the fans to do the same. Since then, Mets fans have showed up in record numbers in recent home games. Alonso will look to continue his hot streak in front of the fans to help the Mets make the postseason.

Author Twitter: @ryanmmorgan

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