This was Pete Alonso on Tuesday night after he reached an impressive milestone:
"There’s so many people that have been in my life that I’m just so thankful for: family, friends, coaches, teammates. And without those people having such a positive influence on me, for me to be able to perform like this consistently, it wouldn’t be able to happen. So I just want to say thank you to everybody in my life that’s had a positive impact. I’m really appreciative."
This was after Alonso became the second-fastest player in MLB history to reach 100 home runs with his first of two blasts in the Mets’ 9-4 victory over the Marlins in Miami.
Was it also Alonso’s warmup for his Hall of Fame induction speech in about, oh, 18 years?
That’s a fair question for Mets fans to ask on the day after Derek Jeter was here, there and everywhere on every possible platform as he was finally inducted into Cooperstown on Wednesday afternoon as part of the Class of 2020.
Here’s another question: When do the Mets get to have their first homegrown Hall of Famer who never plays in any other uniform?
Three years into his career, Alonso appears to be the Mets’ best hope, especially if Jacob deGrom’s "resolved" partial UCL tear isn’t quite as harmless as team president Sandy Alderson would have us believe.
Alonso went into Wednesday’s game at Miami with 101 career home runs. He hit No. 100 in his 347th game; only Ryan Howard of the Phillies did it faster (325 games).
"Hopefully I get two, three, four, five, six-hundred more," Alonso said.
That oughta do it!
Yes, the Mets have Tom Seaver and Mike Piazza wearing their caps on their Cooperstown plaques. Gary Carter is in the Hall, too, but with an Expos logo.
And many Mets-adjacent players are in the Hall (Willie Mays, Rickey Henderson, Eddie Murray, Yogi Berra, to name a few who played for the Mets but had their best years elsewhere).
There was a day when you could project David Wright and Jose Reyes as potential homegrown Hall of Famers. Wright’s back betrayed him. Reyes left as a free agent and was never as good a player in his later years as he was when he was young and a Met.
Wright will make his first appearance on the Hall of Fame ballot in 2024. So will Reyes. Neither is going to come close.
Carlos Beltran will be a tough one when he appears on the ballot for the first time in 2023. Beltran had a wondrous career, but his Hall of Fame candidacy could go the way of his tenure as Mets manager, at least at the outset, because of his involvement in the Astros sign-stealing scandal.
So that pretty much leaves it up to Alonso, who will turn 27 on Dec. 7 and has been everything the Mets could have hoped for when they named him their Opening Day first baseman before the 2019 season.
It’s easy to forget now, but then-Mets general manager Alderson refused to call up Alonso for a look in September 2018.
Brodie Van Wagenen -- in one of his first, and perhaps his best, moves as Mets GM – visited Alonso that offseason and told him he was going to be the man at first base.
Alonso rewarded Van Wagenen by setting the all-time Mets and rookie home run record with 53. He is a two-time Home Run Derby champ and is back to his 2019 form after a so-so performance in the shortened 60-game 2020 season.
Alonso is also the face of this Mets’ franchise. His love of everything orange and blue is matched only by how the fanbase feels about him.
Mets fans don’t love every player on this team, but Alonso has the feel of someone who could end up as the best homegrown hitter the Mets have ever had, never leave, and one day thank the Flushing faithful from the podium at Cooperstown.
Hey, on a day when it was all Jeter, all the time, can’t Mets fans dream?