After Pete Alonso hit his 52nd home run of the season to tie with Yankees outfielder Aaron Judge’s major league record for most homers by a rookie on Friday, Alonso stood at his locker and considered his place in baseball history.
“I think of old-timey guys like Lou Gehrig, Babe Ruth, Barry Bonds,” he said. “To think as a rookie I hit more homers than everyone except for one guy, it’s nuts. It’s crazy.”
Alonso, 24, is alone atop the annals now. During the third inning of Saturday night’s game against the Atlanta Braves, Alonso rerouted a two-seam fastball from Braves pitcher Mike Foltynewicz into the center-field bleachers at Citi Field for his 53rd home run of the season. The Mets were already leading, 2-0, and Alonso’s blast proved to be the finishing touch of a 3-0 win over the first-place Braves in the penultimate game of a Mets season that will end without a playoff appearance.
Alonso admired his historic homer as he made his way to first, and celebrated with teammates after crossing home plate. He remained emotional in the field afterward, and wiped tears from his eyes while playing first base.