The Mets are sending a polar bear, a squirrel and a Cy Young Award winner to the All-Star Game.
Despite owning the third-worst record in the National League entering Sunday night’s game against Atlanta, the Mets will be represented in the Midsummer Classic on July 9 by three players: rookie slugger Pete Alonso, hitting machine Jeff McNeil and ace Jacob deGrom.
“It’s a dream come true. I wouldn’t think in a million years I’d be an All-Star as a rookie. It’s crazy,” said Alonso, who already has set the Mets rookie record for home runs with 28, two more than Darryl Strawberry (1983). “When I found out, I was speechless. Just to think I’m one of the best in the world, it’s insane. I was in the minor leagues last year, just working hard to get here.
“I’m really happy the Mets gave me this opportunity to come up here and start the year. I’m just forever grateful. Like I said, it’s a dream come true to be an All-Star and it’s crazy that it’s my first year. It’s really special.”
At this time last year, McNeil and Alonso were All-Stars for Double-A Binghamton, with Alonso also participating in the MLB Futures Game. McNeil overtook Los Angeles’ Cody Bellinger for the NL batting lead at .348 with three hits Sunday night. He was added to the NL squad via the players’ vote.
“I’m a new guy in the league and not all that known yet, so it’s huge for me that the players recognized what I was doing,” McNeil said. “They’re the ones that got me in the game, so it’s huge. It’s a tremendous honor that they recognized that and I’m pretty grateful. It’s a huge compliment and a dream come true.
“To do it with Pete, to come all the way through the system with him, it’s pretty exciting. He’s having a tremendous year as well.”
DeGrom will be making his second consecutive and third career All-Star appearance despite a statistical falloff from last season’s Cy Young numbers. He is 4-7 and has a 3.32 ERA, up from his NL-leading 1.70 in 2018.
“I was honestly a little surprised I made it. I wasn’t real sure. I know I had a few starts that I wish I could take back,’’ deGrom said. “As a pitcher, you only can get voted in by your peers, so that’s definitely an honor. Any time you’re elected to the All-Star Game, it’s something cool.
“And I’m excited for Pete and Jeff as well. Well-deserved for those guys. Both times I’ve went, I’ve been by myself, so now I’ve got a couple of teammates with me, so I’m looking forward to the experience.”
Alonso, who will compete in the Home Run Derby, is the first Mets rookie position player to be an All-Star. Pitchers Tom Seaver (1967), Jerry Koosman (1968) and Dwight Gooden (1984) also represented the Mets as rookies.
“All three of our guys are more than deserving of this,” Mickey Callaway said. “When I think of an All-Star, I think of more than the performance and their numbers. These guys do things the right way. They come to work every day, they have passion and play as hard as they possibly can. It pays off with a special individual award for each of them. We’re proud of them and proud that we have three as an organization.”