Mets, Alonso loaded for bear in postseason race


Fear the Bear

Pete Alonso

With a bear of a month ahead, the New York Mets need their Polar Bear to be ready for the hunt.

Indeed, as the MLB division races heat up in the regular season’s final month, the New York Mets surprisingly find themselves jockeying for a wild card slot after what had been a grossly underwhelming first half. But one of the few bright spots all year has been Pete Alonso.

In their 24-year-old rookie first baseman, the Amazin’s have what they’ve been thirsting for for years: a young player with scary power to all fields, better-than-advertised defense, hustle, leadership skills and a refreshing mature-beyond-his-years attitude reminiscent of a young Derek Jeter.

At the plate, he’s established himself as one of the National League’s top power hitters, as of mid-August batting .258 with 38 home runs (tied for second in the NL) and 85 RBIs (eighth), a .363 on-base percentage and an OPS of .955. If there’s a chink in his offensive game, it’s his 131 strikeouts, which rank fifth in the league.

An All-Star in his first season, he also famously won the 2019 Home Run Derby by beating out the Toronto Blue Jays’ rookie Vladimir Guerrero Jr. in the final round. After the break, he then went into a slump but didn’t let that get him down and quipped dryly that “ever since Mercury came out of retrograde, I think I’m OK” when he emerged from the drought with an early August flurry of dingers.

Alonso can be seen in action Sunday, Sept. 1, on ESPN, when the Mets conclude a three-game road series against the Philadelphia Phillies in a clash of NL East rivals.


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

Bats/throws: Right/right

No.: 20

Honors and achievements: All-Star Futures Game (2018); MLB All-Star Game (2019); 2019 Home Run Derby champion; NL Rookie of the Month (April, June)

George Dickie

George Dickie

George Dickie has been a features writer for Gracenote/Tribune Media Services since 1989, when “Hee-Haw” was still on the air and George “Goober” Lindsay was his first interview. His early interviews ranged from Jim Henson and Dick Van Dyke to Phil Collins and the Dixie Chicks.

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