Mets fans have seen it before. It all comes so fast, the fame and fortune in the city that never sleeps can eat you up. Not again, Pete Alonso.
In the Mets storied history, hundreds upon hundreds of players have passed through the doors of the Mets clubhouse. Some pass by unnoticed – here today and gone tomorrow.
Occasionally though, a player comes along who has this “thing” that’s not only connected to his skills on a ballfield but a connection to the fans and the city he plays in.
Some make it through the glory and the fame – players like Mike Piazza and Gary Carter, who only came here to play baseball and help their team win.
But others seem possessed and attracted to a city that gives them life beyond anything they could have dreamed of experiencing – all because they can pitch or hit a baseball better than most.
Mighty Mets have fallen
The list is long of those who took the bait of the cocaine infused 1980’s – the Len Dykstra’s who would wind up in prison on unrelated charges and convictions.
The infamous duo of Darryl Strawberry and Dwight Gooden, who had the world in the palm of their hand, only to see it combust in the self-absorbed world of invincibility remain exhibit one.
But perhaps the most enigmatic personality to enter the stage of the Mets and NYC was neither a drug user nor a thief. Yet, he succumbed to the lure of the “big stage” as well, and it cost him just as much if not in a different way.
Matt Harvey is 30 years old, and he doesn’t have a job.
Once the Dark Knight and THE man on the hill for the New York Mets when everything was on the line, Harvey has been traded twice and subsequently released by the LA Angels – a castaway – left to find a job.
A reader unfamiliar with the ventures and frustrations associated with Harvey’s behavior during his tenure with the Mets is invited to do a “Matt Harvey” search on this Reflections On Baseball website. There are too many to list here.
Can Pete Alonso break the chain
But that’s not what this is about, anyway. This is about “Polar Bear,” the man who, like Harvey, earned a nickname in his very first major league season – Pete Alonso.
Like Harvey, it all came so fast. In one season – one season – Pete Alonso won a million dollars in the nationally televised and glorified Home Run Derby.
That’s just the beginning, though. Alonso shattered the home run record for a rookie held by Aaron Judge and then capped it off by winning the NL Rookie of the Year award.
Can it get much better? Well, I guess that depends on what you think is “better.”
So here we have (photo above) Pete Alonso and “Broadway Joe Namath” juxtaposed on Page Six of the New York Post wearing what the Post thinks is worthy of newsprint – THAT fur coat – and the NYC that was at Namath’s and Harvey’s beckoning call during his heyday.
Pete – stay grounded and focused
Pete Alonso is walking on thin ice, and he could be in danger of falling in the cold waters that absorbed Matt Harvey and so many others before him – including the sad but true story of Mickey Mantle‘s alcohol-infused escapades on the streets of Manhattan.
So far, Alonso’s feet appear to be firmly planted on the ground. An image search on Google, for instance, reveals a steady and voluminous barrage of photos with Alonso and his girlfriend, Haley Walsh.
As Mets fans, we are eager to latch on to and follow a career of a player who could be the exception to the latest rule, which says YOU are not bigger than NYC, and eventually, you will be eaten up and spit out because you can’t handle it.
Here’s hoping Pete Alonso is just the man to not only survive but thrive in the city that never sleeps…