By Lenn Robbins
Now that Pete Alonso has accomplished almost everything a rookie can hope for, here’s our hope.
Peter Morgan Alonso, please don’t change.
Don’t make it habit but if you happen to get your jersey torn off after a post-game heroic, do the interview shirtless.
Continue to honor the victims, heroes and families of 9/11.
Keep crushing home runs.
And for as long as humanly possible, play baseball like a 12-year-old at Williamsburg, full of joy and passion.
Of course, for the next couple of weeks, take the National League Rookie of the Year Plaque on a Stanley Cup-like run. You can’t plant flowers in it or drink beer out of it but you can hoist a lot of cold ones in Tampa or New York or any else place there’s a Mets fan.
We’ll set over/under at 53, the record number of home runs Alonso slugged this year. That didn’t break just any record, it broke the record for home runs by a rookie previously held by a Yankee – Aaron Judge.
Trust us. This is huge for Mets fans that spends almost eternal second fiddle to the Yankees.
In addition to crushing those 53 home runs, Alonso drove in 120 runs while hitting. 260. The Polar Bear, all 6-3, 245 pounds even stole a base.
What was stolen from Alonso was winning the award in unanimous fashion, which clearly was on his mind Monday night at the award’s announcement. He wore a black hat inscribed with “100 %.”
Alonso received 29 of 30 first-place votes. One voter opted for Atlanta rookie pitcher Mike Soroka received the one other first place vote.
If Alonso needs motivation next season, he could look there. Just as he could have used the fact that he barely made the big club coming out of spring training. Surely he was thrilled to make the team and maybe there was some extra mojo.
But this is what makes Alonso such a New York treasure. He doesn’t need a chip on his shoulder because he has laughter in his heart. He loves the game. He knows how few make this dream come true.
Hopefully, Alonso will never forget that. He’ll continue to embrace the big, warm, cuddly Polar Bear persona, player version of Mr. Met. He’ll get just as big a thrill out of a walk-off walk, that led to the bare-chested celebration, as he gets from a walk off homer.
He’ll be that kid that dreamed of one day winning NL Rookie of the Year. And then he did it.