NEW YORK (AP) — Mets slugger Pete Alonso hit his 53rd home run of the season Saturday night, breaking the rookie record Yankees star Aaron Judge set in 2017.
Alonso launched a 93 mph fastball on a 1-2 count from Atlanta Braves starter Mike Foltynewicz just to the right of straightaway center field. The solo shot gave New York a 3-0 lead in the third inning.
As the 415-foot drive landed in the seats, Alonso raised both arms in triumph while running to first base — and Mets teammates came out of the dugout to congratulate the 24-year-old first baseman. Fans at Citi Field gave him a standing ovation and Alonso raised both arms again, tilted his head back and looked skyward as he stood in front of the dugout.
Overcome with emotion, Alonso had tears in his eyes when he went to first base in the fourth.
“He’s not moved to tears often,” his mother, Michelle, said on the Fox telecast. “So for him to feel that reward and be moved to tears, that warms my heart because I was certainly falling in my seat at the moment at the same time. It was a family cryfest.”
Michelle and her husband, also named Pete, were sitting in the stands along with the player’s fiancee, Haley Renee — who was recording a video of the plate appearance.
“I usually never video his at-bats because I get superstitious,” she said. “Now I have that forever.”
Alonso’s father recalled coaching his son and Little League games in Tampa, Florida.
“When that ball was in mid-flight, it was all flashing in front of me,” his dad said. “It was like an out-of-body experience.”
Alonso’s 53rd home run put him four ahead of Cincinnati’s Eugenio Suárez for the major league lead. No rookie since 1900 has won an outright home run title in the big leagues.
The regular season ends Sunday.
Alonso has already set franchise records for homers, total bases (347) and extra-base hits (85). He has 120 RBIs and 102 runs, becoming the first Mets rookie to reach triple digits in both categories. The home run was his 11th of September.
More AP MLB: https://apnews.com/MLB and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports