Pete Alonso
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Video: Pete Alonso makes home run history

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Just one day after he tied Aaron Judge‘s single-season rookie home run record, Mets phenom Pete Alonso broke away with home run no. 53 to establish himself as the all-time rookie home run leader.

The historic moment came in the bottom of the third inning of Saturday’s game against the Braves, close on the heels of Rene Rivera‘s own two-run blast against Braves righty Mike Foltynewicz. With the bases empty and two outs, Alonso worked a 2-1 count against the right-hander, then clocked a 414-footer out to the right field stands for his record-setting 53rd home run of the year.

As MLB.com’s Anthony DiComo pointed out minutes later, Alonso’s jaw-dropping record doesn’t just set him apart from his peers, but from all MLB players:

Of those nine, only five have hit 53 or more home runs in a single season since 2001. Giancarlo Stanton was the last to do it, eclipsing Alonso’s mark with 59 home runs for the Marlins in 2017. Surpassing the all-time record still presents a significant challenge, however, as no one’s come anywhere close to Barry Bonds’ 73-homer record since he set it with the Giants back in 2001.

Evan Gattis says he is ‘done playing’ baseball

Evan Gattis
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In a recent appearance on the 755 Is Real Podcast, hosted by The Athletic’s David O’Brien and former Braves reliever Eric O’Flaherty, catcher Evan Gattis confirmed he is “done playing” baseball. Gattis said back in October that he didn’t have any desire to continue playing the game, so this news comes as no surprise.

Gattis, 33, hit .226/.284/.452 with 25 home runs and 78 RBI for the Astros in 2018. The Astros did not extend him a qualifying offer, then $17.9 million. Though reporting on specific offers is scant, it is hard to imagine he received zero offers, or would have received zero offers if he were still interested in playing.

Gattis has one of the more interesting stories out there. He was a well-regarded college baseball prospect, but he battled anxiety and substance abuse. He checked into rehab and, temporarily, abandoned his baseball-related pursuits. Gattis eventually resumed playing college baseball but suffered an injury, prompting him to drop out of college. He went on to take on some not-so-glamorous jobs, including working in a pizza shop, as a parking valet, a ski-lift operator, and a janitor. Gattis battled more mental health issues, suffering from insomnia and depression, resulting in suicidal ideation. He checked into an inpatient psychiatric ward for several days. Afterwards, Gattis roamed around the west coast, going from Colorado to New Mexico to California to Wyoming.

In 2010, Gattis returned to baseball, playing for the University of Texas of the Permian Basin. He performed rather well, resulting in his being drafted by the Braves in the 23rd round that year. He worked his way through the minors quickly, debuting in the majors in 2013. The rest, as they say, is history. Gattis retires with a career .248/.300/.476 batting line along with 139 home runs, 410 RBI, and 299 runs scored over 2,662 trips to the plate.

The story of Gattis is an important one because mental health in general was not taken seriously, especially among men. It still isn’t, to a large degree, but it’s better now than it was 10 years ago. Due to social taboos and gender norms, men are much less likely to seek help for mental health issues. That Gattis — a burly avatar of testosterone — was willing to be vulnerable about his struggles with his mental health was important.