ATLANTA — The list of All-Stars committing to play in the World Baseball Classic next year got longer Wednesday with the announcement that Pete Alonso will suit up for the United States.
“I feel lucky to be a part of it,” Alonso said. “It looked like an incredible environment (last time). It’s an incredibly fun event. I’ve always wanted to play in it. It’s an honor to play for the stars and stripes.”
The WBC, which will run from March 8-21 and require participants to temporary leave their team’s spring training camp, is old enough that guys like Alonso grew up with it. He was 11 during the first iteration in 2006. The last time the tournament was held, in 2017, Alonso was mere months into his professional baseball career. The pandemic caused the postponement of the event in 2021.
Now, Alonso is established enough — even in a crowded field of American-born first basemen — that Team USA approached him last month about playing. Once the Mets gave the OK, Alonso signed up.
“It’s just something that I was looking forward to being invited to if the opportunity came up, and thankfully it did,” Alonso said. “We have a great talent pool of baseball players in the United States, so I’m just really lucky and blessed to be a part of the team.”
Others to commit to Team USA include Mike Trout, who accepted the role of captain, plus the Cardinals’ Paul Goldschmidt and Noalan Arenado, the Phillies’ Bryce Harper and J.T. Realmuto and the Red Sox’s Trevor Story.