New York Mets rookie Pete Alonso had his coming out party at the 2019 MLB Home Run Derby. Known as “Polar Bear” in Queens, he showed everyone just how cold the ice in his veins was by taking down Vlad Guerrero Jr. in the final round.
To win the million dollar prize, Alonso first had to take down Carlos Santana of the Indians, then Ronald Acuna Jr. of the Braves. To meet him in the final round, Guerrero Jr. had to beat Matt Chapman of the A’s and Joc Pederson of the Dodgers.
Heading into the final round, Alonso looked over-matched. Guerrero Jr. had crushed a record 69 home runs in the first two rounds. The New York slugger had only managed 34 for himself. Luck must have been on his side, as Toronto’s young stud looked gassed as he hit first.
In the second round, Guerrero hit 40 home runs, going into three sudden death rounds against Joc Pederson. By the end of it, he was barely able to hold his bat up. The fact that he hit 23 home runs in the final round is a testament to how talented he is.
Alonso, of course, proved he was just as talented, hitting his 24th home run with time to spare and bursting out into celebration. For him, it was more than just a victory. Before the derby even got started he announced he would donate 10 percent of his winnings to various charities.