Mets slugger seeks another HR Derby trophy
In the category of people who project absolute joy in what they do, we present for your consideration Pete Alonso, man of many projectiles.
Watching the New York Mets first baseman compete at last year’s Home Run Derby, which he won for the second-straight time, it was hard to think of anyone in recent memory who has as much fun as the burly slugger.
Indeed, in slamming meatball after meatball from then-Mets bench coach Dave Jauss deep into the stands at Denver’s Coors Field, the 27-year-old Floridian dubbed “the Polar Bear” danced, bobbed his head and hammed it up to the crowd as he launched 74 dingers, the longest a 514-foot moon rocket. This is a man who doesn’t hit cheap homers.
In the end after he’d out-homered the Orioles’ Trey Mancini, Alonso held the 2021 Home Run Derby trophy aloft with abject pride. He believes he’s the best power hitter in the game, and after this performance it was hard to argue with him.
It was hard to argue even before that. He won Rookie of the Year honors in 2019 (the same year he won his first Home Run Derby) by hitting a rookie record 53 homers, then followed that up with 16 in the pandemic-shorted 2020 season and another 37 in 2021. And this season, he’s among the league leaders once again.
He’s a lock to be at Dodger Stadium to compete in the 2022 Home Run Derby, which takes place Monday, July 18, and airs on ESPN and ESPN2.
Full name: Peter Morgan Alonso
Birth date: Dec. 7, 1994
Birthplace: Tampa, Fla.
Height/weight: 6 feet 4 inches/245 pounds
Teams: New York Mets (2019-present)
Position: First base
Honors and achievements: All-Star Futures Game (2018); MLB All-Star Game (2019); Home Run Derby champion (2019, 2021); NL Rookie of the Year (2019); 2019 MLB home run leader