Pete Alonso received a giant, fake $1 million check from Major League Baseball on Friday for his win in the All-Star Game Home Run Derby earlier this month.
What Alonso did with $100,000 of the money was real — and real nice. The Mets first baseman donated $50,000 each to two charities, the Wounded Warrior Project and the Tunnel to Towers Foundation.
“It was awesome winning the [Derby],” Alonso said while flanked by representatives of the two organizations at a Citi Field ceremony. “Yes, it’s a million dollars, but being a champion is priceless. For me, I just feel fortunate every day with the opportunity I have. I just feel extremely blessed, and that’s one of the reasons why I wanted to donate. I feel really strongly about people who put their lives on the line every single day.”
Alonso, who is making the major-league minimum salary of $555,000 in his rookie season, hit his 34th home run Friday night in the Mets’ 6-3 win over the Pirates.
He had vowed to donate part of his winnings if he won the Derby and made good on that promise in a big way to two organizations that are close to his heart.
“A bad day at work for me is getting booed off the field, going 0-for-4, making errors,” he said. “But I can’t even imagine what a bad day at work for people who put their lives on the line every single day is. I just have the utmost respect for those people.”
Edwin Diaz, who left Thursday’s game after being hit on the left foot by a line drive, said he felt OK and expected to be available Friday. The Mets used Seth Lugo for the ninth-inning save, though . . . To make room for Zack Wheeler on the roster, the Mets optioned righthander Walker Lockett to Triple-A Syracuse.