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Mets slugger Pete Alonso receives three awards at New York BBWAA dinner

Mets first baseman Pete Alonso poses for a

Mets first baseman Pete Alonso poses for a photo after an MLB baseball game against the Atlanta Braves in which he hit his record-breaking 53rd home run at Citi Field on Saturday, Sept. 28, 2019. Credit: Kathleen Malone-Van Dyke

The Mets’ Pete Alonso was honored with not one, not two, but three awards on Saturday night at the 97th annual dinner of the New York chapter of the Baseball Writers’ Association of America in Manhattan.

Alonso won the National League Rookie of the Year, “Toast of the Town” and “Good Guy” awards after setting a rookie record with 53 home runs in 2019.

Comedian and Mets fan Jerry Seinfeld introduced Alonso for the “Toast of the Town” and Rookie of the Year awards.

“He’s a joy to watch,” Seinfeld said. “He’s someone you can kind of feel the person that he is just as he walks to the plate. He’s just a special person. As a Mets fan, I am just excited to have him on the team.”

Alonso then asked the crowd if he is allowed to curse. Told that it was OK, he said, “Holy —, it’s Jerry Seinfeld.”

Seinfeld sat on the dais between Alonso and SNY’s Keith Hernandez, who starred in a “Seinfeld” episode in 1992.

Hernandez and Gary Cohen presented SNY colleague Ron Darling the “You Gotta Have Heart” award. Darling returned to work last season after being treated for thyroid cancer.

Jacob deGrom was honored with his second consecutive National League Cy Young Award.

“It’s really kind of an unreal moment,” he said to an audience of about 900.

“Big thanks to the Mets. I really love playing here . . . There is no better place to pitch and I love running out onto the field in front of you [fans].”

The Astros’ Justin Verlander was presented the American League Cy Young Award and seemed to inadvertently bring up the Astros’ sign-stealing scandal.

“As everyone knows, they’re very technologically and analytically advanced,” he said of the Astros, sparking both laughs and boos from the audience.

Long Islander Steven Matz won the Joan Payson-Shannon Forde Award for Community Service.

Yankees announcer John Sterling won the Casey Stengel “You Could Look it Up” Award.

Sterling grew emotional in thanking the audience for how well he has been treated in his travels over the decades.

DJ LeMahieu of the Yankees was named “New York Player of the Year.”

Newsday’s Lennon wins award. Newsday baseball columnist David Lennon received the Dick Young Memorial Award on Friday night at the 55th annual New York Professional Baseball Hot Stove League Awards Dinner, an event hosted each year in Great Neck by the local scouting community.

Lennon, who has covered baseball for Newsday since 1995, was recognized by the scouts for “meritorious service to the national pastime in the area of communications.” He also has been twice named as a top 10 finisher nationally in the column-writing category of the Associated Press Sports Editors contest.

The Reds’ Lee Seras received the A.B. “Turk” Karam Award as the scout of the year and Grand Street Campus (Brooklyn) High’s Melvin Martinez, who coached Mets reliever Dellin Betances, was recognized for his achievements with the Steve Lembo Award.

-- Mike Rose


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