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Jason Fry and Greg Prince
Faith and Fear in Flushing made its debut on Feb. 16, 2005, the brainchild of two longtime friends and lifelong Met fans.

Greg Prince discovered the Mets when he was 6, during the magical summer of 1969. He is a Long Island-based writer, editor and communications consultant. Contact him here.

Jason Fry is a Brooklyn writer whose first memories include his mom leaping up and down cheering for Rusty Staub. Check out his other writing here.

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Pete Are The Champions

Should I be alive and sentient when the Mets win their third world championship, I shall enjoy it greatly. I mean really enjoy it greatly. I shall buzz around all night, perhaps for weeks, just soaking in the reality that we have topped everybody and therefore cannot be topped. I will flip to every channel, click on every link, amplify every celebratory instinct that pulsates through me. I suppose I knew that before Monday night, but now I am sure, for Pete Alonso has reminded me what winning a championship feels like.

A championship — a title definitively captured immediately and viscerally. Nothing that needs to be judged and awarded later. Nothing dependent any longer on what anybody else does. Nothing provisional or partial. That instant when the most that can be won is won and there is nothing left to win because we, the Mets, have won it.

That’s what we got a simulation of on Monday night when Pete Alonso won the Home Run Derby, a demonstration in microcosm (or Alonsocosm) of how it might be if/when we witness the real thing. Pete wore a Mets uniform, hit more home runs than his opponent in each of three rounds and exulted as we wish a Met to do. Only as humble as he needs to be, the Polar Bear roared. Or growled. Or whatever it is Polar Bears do after hitting home runs.

It didn’t count in the sense that home runs hit in an exhibition devoted solely to home runs for the sake of home runs aren’t reflected in official player statistics and the team for whom the player plays isn’t moved an iota in the standings of record. But that Mets uniform. And that exultation. And the fact that it was a competition with all of baseball’s eyes on it. And the fact that Pete knocked off three fine sluggers — including North America’s newest slugging darling, Vladimir Guerrero, Jr. — en route to raising arms, flipping bats and being as delighted over a feat that doesn’t count as anybody could be…

It counted enough for one night. It counted enough so that I wanted to multiply Alonso in his moment of glory by 25 and revel in a team of champions. We take Pete and Jeff McNeil and Jacob deGrom, each of them together on that field in Cleveland, and we add to them, we cultivate them, we dream on them and then, some night in weather likely more suited to actual polar bears, we thrill to a group Mets achievement that dwarfs a silly television contrivance that there’s little chance I’d have paid much attention to had a Met not been as involved as he was.

This was great. I long for greatest.

13 comments to Pete Are The Champions

  • Daniel Hall

    I was alive for one, and sentient for none of the Mets’ championships, and I can’t wait to up my tally.

    Meanwhile, I am bracing for impact of PEEEEETE hitting .149 with three homers (every team has a Familia type, right?) the rest of the way…

  • Amazing how he did this even with his cousin throwing bad pitches half the time. Great job! Happy Met fan here. :)

  • mikeL

    given how routinely the mets are dissed by national sports media it was indeed nice for pete to thrive in the spotlight as he did.

    agree with greg. pete’s a natural at the longball. i don’t think he skips a beat in the second half.

    i dare dream that he’ll still have many ABs left as he starts approaching hallowed HR ground (ie. not the tainted numbers we associate with sosa maguire bonds)

  • eric1973

    Congrats to Pete, and in the Mets uniform as well!

    It looked like his cousin was trying to get him out, and that he was auditioning for the team!

  • Dave

    As someone said on Twitter last night, wait until Mets fans find out that Pete’s cousin is who we’re getting even up for Vargas.

    And yada yada yada with the jokes about how he should have been allowed to hit off Familia or Matz…he won anyway.

    Home Run Derbys are fake baseball in every sense, but seeing our boy make everyone in baseball take notice felt good. He is legitimately a guy opposing pitchers don’t want to face when the game’s on the line. Nice to have someone who fits that description.

  • JoeyBaguhDonuts

    In addition to Polar Pete’s achievement, our batting-champ-in-the-making is an All Star left fielder- and he’s playing out of position all season.

  • Steve D

    Nobody has ever been alive or sentient for a Met winning an MVP. Pete could be the one to do it someday…wish he would tone down the wrestling act a bit…and MLB really should go back to the old ball.

  • Ken K. in NJ

    Wait. That was Home Run Derby? I thought I was watching a 2019 Baseball Game. So, Vlad Jr.did not hit 91 home runs in a regular season game??

  • open the gates

    Mixed feelings here. I love Pete Alonso’s enthusiasm, and he’s easily the best thing about this 2019 season. On the other hand, I think the Home Run Derby is hokey and contrived, with the potential to mess up participants timing for a long time in regular action (see: Wright, David). I also think that, as nice as it is to see a Metsie get national recognition for offensive prowess, this reminds me a bit of Maz hitting the home run in the ’79 All Star Game. Met fans went crazy, but only because there was absolutely nothing else to cheer for that year. We deserve better.

  • Left Coast Jerry

    One night Pete wins the home run derby. The next night, he drives in 2 runs, steals a base, and makes a defensive gem in the All-Star Game. His display these last two nights has put him in the national consciousness and has given him a leg up on the Rookie of the Year award. I truly believe that when the writers vote at the end of the season, they will remember Pete’s accomplishments on the national stage.