It was certainly a season to remember for former Bourne Braves slugger Pete Alonso and now he's got a major league award to account for it.
On Monday, the New York Mets slugging first baseman was named 2019 National League Rookie of the Year, receiving 29 of 30 first-place votes in the Baseball Writers' Association of America voting.
“To be a part of Major League Baseball history, to be No. 1 out of every single guy that played the game, it’s humbling and it’s such a ridiculously awesome feeling,” Alonso told USA Today. “That moment was pure magic.”
In 2014, Alonso's teammate at U. Florida, Richie Martin, played for Bourne and told Braves field manager Harvey Shapiro about Alonso, who was playing in the Northwoods League and ended the summer with 18 home runs.
The following year 2015 Alonso played for the Braves, batting .255 with no homers and 13 RBI in 26 games (98 at-bats) during regular season and .267 in CCBL playoffs in four games. He was also a participant in the Cape League All-Star Game Home Run Contest.
“Pete’s swing is a lot shorter now, with more power," said Shapiro. "You could tell he was a player with a lot of punch."
Atlanta Braves pitcher Mike Soroka finished second in voting with 82 points – including one first-place vote, and San Diego Padres shortstop Fernando Tatis Jr. placed third with 26 points.
There were questions before the season whether the 24-year-old Alonso would be with the team opening day. Coming off a 36-home run campaign in minors, there was a possibility the Mets would keep him in Class AAA to start the season.
Alonso rewarded the organization's faith in him, posting a 1.024 OPS in March and April, finishing the first half with 30 home runs. He went on to break the previous club record of 41 home runs and 120 RBI were most for Mets player since 2006.
"Pete's a special guy ... he's the next David Wright in this organization," said then-Mets manager Mickey Callaway. "There's no doubt in my mind. He's a superstar, people are drawn to him, and there's a reason why, because everything he does is authentic and it comes from place of winning. It's never about Pete Alonso, and I think that shows through to everybody."
Alonso is the sixth Met to win the rookie award, joining Jacob deGrom (2014), Dwight Gooden (1984) Darryl Strawberry (1983), Jon Matlack (1972) and Tom Seaver (1967).