New York Mets first baseman Pete Alonso set a new record for home runs by a rookie this season. It’s nothing to take lightly.
We have all known and admired Pete Alonso‘s skills and prowess, both as a person and a player on and off the diamond, since the start of this April in 2019. He burst onto the scene with the New York Mets unafraid to show his childlike innocence, charm, and affinity for the game which made us all fall for his personality based on his whimsical quotes and humor-filled observations we heard utter from his mouth during press interviews.
But what the rookie phenom did this past Saturday, September 28th, 2019, will go down in both the franchise and baseball’s history as one of the greatest rookie baseball seasons and moments of all-time. And this really should not be mocked or taken lightly…..”juiced baseball” era or not.
As the Polar Bear planted a 2-1 Mike Foltynewicz fastball over the right center field wall over 400 feet away, the tweets and comments started coming in hot and heavy as news circulated on social media that Pete Alonso was Major League Baseball’s new rookie home run king.
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There were many obligatory congratulations and positive remarks directed towards the 24-year-old, reflecting on how he produced so well in the culmination of his inaugural season on social media moments afterward.
Unfortunately, this wasn’t all that was being hurled at the University of Florida second-round draft pick.
Many fans of the cross-town rival team, the New York Yankees, took the opportunity to get onto social media and use Alonso’s accomplishment to talk down to the first baseman and attempt to marginalize his latest feat. They came to the quick defense of their star right fielder Aaron Judge, who had broken and held the previous Major League home run rookie record just two years earlier.
“At least the balls weren’t juiced back when Judge broke the record” or “the tears coming from Alonso’s eyes are those of sadness considering he will be sitting in his living room in October” were the types of comments filling the social media airwaves moments after Alonso’s achievement from Yankees fans.
Obviously, with the meteoric rise of Alonso in this his rookie year, a hot and legitimate debate has been created as to which baseball franchise has the best player in the Big Apple. It was not too long ago that Aaron Judge, the hulking 6’8″ 280 lb. behemoth Yankees right fielder, came out of obscurity to win the 2017 AL Rookie of the Year, hit 52 home runs and finish runner up as the American League MVP.
But as of late, the last two years have seen Judge marred with numerous injuries and only able to produce half of what he did in his 2017 rookie campaign. There is no doubt that this has caused frustration and worry about the future greatness of their franchise star amongst many Yankees fans.
And now, with the emergence of a potentially even greater young talent just a few miles down the I-95 on the other New York team, Yankees fans probably feel more threatened than ever.
But let’s face it. Hitting 50 home runs in any environment is a huge accomplishment. And hitting that magical number, whether you do it as the first or second-highest home run hitter of all-time as a rookie really isn’t that a big deal. And Alonso’s home run rookie record really is no fluke, as he showed the type of mammoth power we have all become accustomed to in 2019 back during the 2018 All-Star Futures Game and all throughout spring training this season.
At the end of the day, it’s all about having that classy, high character leader on your team that represents your franchise well and leads you to success.
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Whether it is Pete Alonso or Aaron Judge breaking rookie home run records, one thing is certain, both are all-world talented players and we as New York City baseball fans, are lucky to have them both in our town.