Pete Alonso truly soaked in the moment where he mashed his 53rd home run of the season, setting a new single season record for a rookie in MLB history. You could see the pure emotion taking over as he rounded the bases and met his teammates at the dugout with he Citi Field crowd going ballistic the entire time.
Alonso has had a full night's sleep to reflect on what he actually did on Saturday night, and he still can't believe what happened
"Yeah, it's still surreal. I mean to wake up today it's like, 'Wow, that really happened,'" Alonso said in a 1-on-1 with SNY's Steve Gelbs before the final regular season game for the Mets on Sunday. "I still can't believe it. It's been just such an incredible year and just to kinda perform and play the way I have -- overly joyed."
And there's a reason Alonso couldn't get that smile off his face.
"To me, it was more than a home run," he said. "That was just a magical moment. That's my favorite moment I've ever had playing the game of baseball."
Unfortunately, Alonso has just Sunday afternoon's game to add to his great stat totals this season as the Mets will miss the playoffs for the third straight season. After their big second-half comeback, many believed the Mets would charge their way into a Wild Card slot and fight for a World Series title. But that effort fell just short.
Despite the result, Alonso is still incredibly happy with what this Mets group has accomplished this season.
"I'm just proud of where this team ended up," he said. "Compared to where we started in the second half and how we kinda grinded and fought regardless of all the circumstances, I think that's incredible. Coming in 11 games under .500 and we got a chance to finish 10 games above today."
With the home run goal accomplished -- along with many other franchise records broken -- Alonso will be ending what has become a remarkable rookie season. Of course, he said he's "hit a couple walls" here and there. But overall, Alonso has been everything he was advertised before the season and much more.
So what's next? Alonso has a feel for what is expected in the MLB, and after getting that taste of success, he only wants more as he moves forward in his career.
"I just want to elevate all aspects of my game. I want to work on getting out less, which I think everyone does. ...One of my goals in my career is I want to win a Gold Glove. I want to improve and keep on improving my defense. This offseason, I want to get bigger, faster, stronger and come into spring [training] in shape and gonna be extra motivated to be a part of a special team. The goal is to go to the playoffs and play for a ring."
But he will be sure to relish in the feeling of that homer for as long as he can. Everything about it was surreal, like he said, but one particular thing stuck out the most at the end of it all.
"The one thing that's probably going to stick to me most is the way all my teammates just congratulated me. It felt like it all came from a place of genuine support, happiness, and love. These guys have been just tremendous. The way that they've treated me with respect and class has just been unbelievable. I'm just so thankful for this group of guys."