Pete Alonso, the rising star in Queens



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Michelle Alonso arrived at her seat in section 114 at Citi Field shortly before the first launch on opening day in March. Her husband, Peter, was at his side, while they watched his firstborn, Peter also, being announced to the crowd of 44,424 supporters as first baseman, second at bat.

It was his debut at home. Baseball paraded, but his mind returned to a quieter period in Queens, the only previous visit of his family to the stadium. It was in the summer of 2016, when Alonso signed his first contract as a second round pick of the Mets – No. 64 in total – in the amateur draft of Major League Baseball.

"So weird," she said. "Nobody was there. The people at the front desk were out. He just signed quietly in a conference room and ordered a pizza. Yet you have the impression that one day he will be here, and it is the day. "

When he was heading to the plate for the first time, the stadium speakers played Cody Johnson's "Welcome to the Show".

Alonso, 24 years old, is the essential rendezvous of the moment. For the nocturnal spectators of the team's long-time tragicomedy, it offers moonshots and a well-deserved joie de vivre. Following the retirement of David Wright and the rehabilitations of Yoenis Cespedes, he filled the offensive void with an unconscious bat and a juvenile exuberance. Alonso is the right-most player of right-winger Aaron Judge with a record of 52 (53). Alonso is the Mets 'local response to the Yankees' batter. His ability to do so with an enthusiastic approach and gracious behavior was remarkable compared to another recent star who declines line 7.

"For a beginner to assume that leadership role like him and behave like an All-Star, it's amazing," said Mickey Callaway, manager of Mets. "And that's because he's doing everything right at all times."

The next step in Alonso's learning curve is the Subway series in the Bronx. For fans of the Yankees who have just listened, here is the screening report of # 20:

1. He is known as "polar bear" among his teammates and coaches. His beard, his belly, his dense body (6 feet 3 inches, 245 pounds), his raw power and his generous nature earned him his nickname.

"I'm not surprised," his mother said. "I have a picture of him shirtless on the Mendenhall Glacier in Alaska because he said," It's not cold here. "He was in eighth grade, this kid."

2 Alonso is a Statcast star. Its circuits average 410 feet. His longest was 454 feet and left his bat at 118 km / h.

He leads all recruits in the circuits (21), R.B.I. (46), hits (60), extra-base hits (35), slugging (.604), base (.341) and total (139). He is also tied first with triples (2), marches (21) and points scored (37). When he hit his last lap on Saturday night, his launch angle was 48 degrees and the top of the balloon's trajectory was 185 feet in the air, which tied Cespedes' highest performance in the history of the world. 'team.

"I told myself" Whoa was sick, "said Alonso," Probably one of the most interesting I've touched, that's for sure.

3. He takes notes. He has in his locker a marble notebook bearing his name "Peter Alonso" and the year "2019" on the cover, in the manner of a schoolboy's diary.

After every game and before he takes a shower, he spends two or three minutes in his locker to record his actions, his progress, the throwing sequences that the opposition has thrown at him and how he can improve. .

"If I start thinking too much, then the wheels start spinning very fast and I lose control," he says. "Once I get into this box, I disable the brain."

4 Alonso passes every day in front of a sign saying "Hunt your place" near the canoe. He also has camouflage clogs, a camouflage sleeve, a camouflage jacket, a camouflaged travel bag and camouflage sandals that he wears in the shower.

"I just like the style," he says. "I will not introduce myself in full costume."

Alonso during his little days in the league, when he had different allegiances. CreditMichelle Alonso

5 He is a former Yankee. Alonso was raised in a house five miles from George M. Steinbrenner Field and played for the Yankees in the Little League of Tampa Bay with Steinbrenner's grandson, Joe.

After winning a title in 2002 at the age of 7, Alonso received a letter from former Yankees director, Joe Torre, in which she congratulated Alonso for "preserving the reputation of our team" . Alonso framed it and hung on the wall of his room.

6 He has always had a great appetite. Alonso was not allowed to eat on children's menus while growing up, as his parents felt that processed foods were bad for any body.

Now he cooks and enjoys a good wine / wine pairing.

7. His education in cooking went beyond food. His father used to break his baseball gloves, including lathering them in shaving cream and baking them in order to detach them. It's a proven and true method, but Elder Alonso admitted to having left it a little too long. "It sang the ropes," he said. "My wife was:" What are you doing? "It smelled like hot skin."

8 There are marches on his baseball course that follow him. The summer before entering high school, he played a two – week tournament in Vienna, Austria, with the US team at the Friendship Games.

Outside the field, he has recalled visiting Mauthausen, the site of a Nazi concentration camp. The image of "stairs of death," where prisoners were forced to carry stone blocks up to 186 steps, never left it.

"Let's put a lot of perspective," he says. "Certainly a necessary experience."

9 He has his differences with the property of the Mets. Of course, he enjoyed the opportunity to start this season in the major leagues after the team refused to call him in the major leagues last September – despite the total of 36 homeruns.

But, while Alonso was traveling to the University of Florida and leading the Gators to the College World Series in 2016, his family also has close ties to the Ohio State. He is aware that the owner of the Mets, Fred Wilpon, is a Michigan man very attached to his alma mater.

"It's pretty funny that the Wilpons are fans of Michigan," says Alonso. "Everyone in my family, we just hate Michigan."

ten. He does not joke with his bad will towards his rivals. When the Mets played in St. Louis, Alonso was touched by hand and had to rest the next day. But while Callaway had dinner with his parents that night, he received text messages from Alonso. In the next match, the Cardinals started Dakota Hudson, which Alonso had faced in the state of Mississippi.

"He was like," Hey, I want to play tomorrow. I hate this guy. I played against him in college, "says Callaway. "He was going crazy."

Alonso drove the second launch of Hudson, he saw 444 feet.

11 Alonso is in the lead of his own production of "Frozen", with his opponents. Its readers of lines are struck with such force that the users are not obliged to freeze.

"I have not seen too many home runs where no one on the field has moved," said teammate Brandon Nimmo, referring to a spring training circuit against the Red Sox. "Literally, no one has moved."

12 Do not prick the polar bear. On the final day of spring training, Jeff McNeil, the Mets technical field player who answered the nickname "Flying Squirrel", crashed his fourth round to tie Alonso at the top of the team.

"So you and I had the same amount of pop," McNeil told Alonso during the dugout. "We are the same player."

Alonso surpasses McNeil by 50 pounds and has three inches on him, and has 19 more races than him this season.

"He's just a funny cat," says Alonso.

13 He served as a driver to his main competitor for the game time. After a protest with sponsors in March, Alonso and Dom Smith, who were neck and neck at a battle to first base, realized that They lived one street away from each other. Alonso offered a lift to Smith, and they have since formed a link.

After a recent victory, you could hear Alonso, the starter from Florida, and Smith, the California reserve, trying to deliver the rallying cry of the Mets in the neighboring lockers.

"You must believe!" Said Smith.

"No, no, that's it, you must believe it!" Says Alonso.

14 He reads "Crossing the Line: The Horrendous Story of a Hockey Original" by former Bruin Derek Sanderson of Boston. Sanderson accumulated 98 penalty minutes as a rookie, won two Stanley Cups and is co-owner of Bachelors III Nightclub with Joe Namath at the height of Broadway Joe in New York. Sanderson was found homeless and slept on a bench in Central Park before bouncing back to serve as a financial advisor.

"I'm just trying to put myself in my head," says Alonso.

15 He will weigh all his weight – probably. When the Mets seemed to be on the brink of a battle with the Phillies in a game in April, third baseman Todd Frazier noticed Alonso's eagerness.

"I think he was a little excited," says Frazier. "He ran. I'm like, here's this polar bear, what does he do? I told him, if he wants to stand next to me, go ahead.

16. He has a favorite comic book hero, and it's not the Dark Knight. "I have a special pair of superman underwear," says Alonso with his fiancée before a private screening of "Avengers: Endgame" in Times Square.

17 He regularly remembers that baseball is a game of failure. While Mets fans are "absolutely crazy about supporting the team, and I love it," he says, they can also challenge his relentless positivity. While rumors about Callaway's employment status are getting stronger, Alonso said, "This game can be very rude from time to time."

18 He won the respect of defender N.L. Winner of the Cy Young Award. After Alonso made his first game in Miami, Jacob deGrom – the last Met to win the Rookie of the Year award – approached Alonso and the two exchanged a quiet exchange.

"The guy has the most powerful power I've ever seen," DeGrom says.

19 He is ready for Yankee Stadium, where the Mets will face their rivals in a two-game series starting Monday. One of his inclinations is to drive outside opposite locations, and the right porch is just 50 meters from the Bronx Plateau. Bonus: He can leave his glove in Queens because Callaway plans to use it as a designated hitter on Monday night.

The judge being excluded because of an injury, Alonso will have the stage for himself alone.

"I do not want to compare myself to anyone or put myself in a box or a mold," says Alonso. "I just want to keep evolving and just being my own player. Hopefully someday, people will say, "This is Peter Alonsoish."

20 His bat could help pay some future bills. If he's selected to participate in this year's derby home run – a prospect he calls "bewildering" – he'd be better off trying to win it. As a rookie, he earns at least $ 555,000 in the league. This year, Major League Baseball added a $ 2.5 million bonus pool for the derby, including $ 1 million for the winner.

"That would certainly cover the wedding expenses," he says.

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