|Pete Alonso returns to the dugout after his homer. Photo by Jason Schott.|
Pete Alonso's dream rookie season continued its historic nature when he set the Mets franchise home run record on Tuesday night against the Cubs.
Alonso's 42nd home run of the season came on the first pitch he saw from Chicago starting pitcher Yu Darvish to lead off the fourth inning.
It was a solo shot to deep right field, 407 feet into the Mets bullpen to give the Mets a 1-0 lead at the time before falling to Chicago, 5-2.
"He's a special player," Mets Manager Mickey Callaway said. "There's not a ton like him."
Alonso, who rounded the bases to the music from the classic Robert Redford baseball movie "The Natural," said afterwards of the applause he received, "The appreciation I have for these Mets' fans, the support I've gotten has been surreal. The way they've embraced me since Day One has been extremely special...I just wanted to reciprocate that," which he did with a tip of the cap."
Alonso passed the prior Mets' record of 41, set by Todd Hundley in 1996, and Carlos Beltran, who matched it ten years later.
"It's a pleasure to have a fine young player like Pete Alonso break my record," Beltran said in a statement. "I have not met Pete personally, but people have told me he plays the game with passion and doesn't give up on any at-bat. He has had great success in his first year. Again, my congrats, Pete."
Hundley said Alonso is "more than a power hitter, he's a pure hitter. I have seen five or six of his games and he keeps getting better and better. He has just had a tremendous year. Congrats, Pete you deserve all the records you have broken."
Alonso already set the National League rookie home run mark when he hit No. 40 in Kansas City on Sunday, August 18, and he is now just 10 away from matching the Major League record set Aaron Judge of the Yankees two years ago.
Mark McGwire's 49 with the Oakland A's in 1987, which is second-most for a rookie, is the next mark Alonso can eclipse.
The Mets first baseman is the first rookie to set a team's franchise home run record since Johnny Rizzo did it for the Pirates in 1938.
When Alonso tied the Mets' franchise record against Atlanta on Saturday night, he was now the first rookie to tie or set his club's single-season home run record since another Pirate, Ralph Kiner, who tied that franchise's record with 23 homers in 1946, according to Elias. Kiner, of course, went on to be a longtime broadcaster for the Mets.
The three-run homer also gave Alonso 100 RBI on the season, which leads all rookies. The last Met to have a 100-RBI season was David Wright in 2010, when he had 103.
Alonso now has 101 RBI on the season. He hit the 100-RBI mark in his 129th game,, and only three players have done it quicker: Beltran in 2006, Robin Ventura in 1999, and Mike Piazza in 2000 all did it in game No. 122.