New York Mets fans know how great Pete Alonso is. In other baseball cities, he’s still unknown.
When you play under the spotlight of New York City sports, you’re bound to get plenty of attention. New York Mets first baseman Pete Alonso is a well-known name in the Big Apple, but nationally, he’s not someone you’ll hear much about.
The simplest explanation is that Alonso hasn’t had a chance to make his rounds and crush pitchers along the way. As the season progresses, perhaps this will change. He’ll inflate ERAs like bicycle tires and send pitchers from the mound to the locker room faster than one of his lasers over the outfield wall.
Alonso isn’t a teenage phenom or a guy who sat among the top of many prospect lists for years. He exploded into our minds last year and has done nothing but continue to rake at the big league level in 2019. Even with the attention he gained last year from a powerful season in every league he played, it seems like the baseball world is sleeping on the slugger formerly known as Peter.
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Alonso has made history, but it’s not the kind a casual fan will care about. He’s near the top of several offensive statistics. However, because fans across America are still locked in trying to figure out what the deal is with their own team, few non-Mets fans have taken much notice.
Underappreciated as he is, I kind of like the idea of Alonso coming to opposing ballparks as more of a mysterious figure. If he can smash a home run and get fans in Atlanta, Philadelphia, and everywhere else to ask, “Who is this guy?” then I’m cool with the rest of the country ignoring the Polar Bear’s prowess.
Last year, Ronald Acuna Jr. and Juan Soto became baseball stars with their high-energy play and five-tool abilities. These are the type of players fans country-wide enjoy seeing most. They want flash and flair. Without knowing it, most fans want to find the next Mike Trout.
Alonso isn’t anything close to Trout. This doesn’t mean he’s not a great player. He’s a different kind of athlete. He’s the kind of fighter that quietly punches you in the mouth one time and knocks you down. He won’t appear on Web Gems (if that’s still even a thing) or steal home. He’s going to crush baseball all over the field and do so with some inconspicuously.
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National attention for your favorite players is fun. There’s a charm to see a commercial for some sports drink or tight-fitting shirt featuring your team’s slugger. Alonso is far from achieving that level of popular. At least for now, he’s our big, bad secret annihilating baseballs all over.