Mets rookie slugger Pete Alonso broke not one, but two records with a monster 418-foot home run on Saturday. He delivered the blast in the first inning of Saturday’s showdown against the Cubs, picking up a one-out, 3-2 curveball from José Quintana and parking it in the right field bleachers to get the Mets on the board.
Alonso, 24, has made a significant impression with the team since his debut on March 28. Entering Saturday, he carried a .271/.358/.619 batting line with 25 home runs, 59 RBI, and a .977 OPS through 313 plate appearances.
The historic homer represented Alonso’s 26th such hit during his rookie campaign so far, a franchise-best mark for any Mets rookie to date. It also broke the record for the most home runs by a National League rookie before the All-Star break, narrowly beating out Cody Bellinger‘s previous total of 25 home runs in 2017.
With just over two weeks left before the 2019 All-Star break begins, there’s a good chance Alonso will add another handful of home runs to his record, too.
On Sunday, we learned that while the Nationals would continue to pay their minor leaguers throughout the month of June, their weekly stipend would be lowered by 25 percent, from $400 to $300. In an incredible act of solidarity, Nationals reliever Sean Doolittle and his teammates put out a statement, saying they would be covering the missing $100 from the stipends.
After receiving some criticism, the Nationals reversed course, agreeing to pay their minor leaguers their full $400 weekly stipend.
Doolittle and co. have not withdrawn their generosity. On Wednesday, Doolittle released another statement, saying that he and his major league teammates would continue to offer financial assistance to Nationals minor leaguers through the non-profit organization More Than Baseball.
The full statement:
Washington Nationals players were excited to learn that our minor leaguers will continue receiving their full stipends. We are grateful that efforts have been made to restore their pay during these challenging times.
We remain committed to supporting them. Nationals players are partnering with More Than Baseball to contribute funds that will offer further assistance and financial support to any minor leaguers who were in the Nationals organization as of March 1.
We’ll continue to stand with them as we look forward to resuming our 2020 MLB season.
Kudos to Doolittle and the other Nationals continuing to offer a helping hand in a trying time. The players shouldn’t have to subsidize their employers’ labor expenses, but that is the world we live in today.