Mets first baseman Pete Alonso and Cardinals RHP Dakota Hudson go way back to the Cape Cod League and college, when they'd face each other as SEC foes, Alonso with the University of Florida and Hudson with Mississippi State.
So even though Alonso could have had Sunday off after taking a pitch to the hand on Saturday, he lobbied manager Mickey Callaway to get a chance to face Hudson.
And Alonso, who went 0-for-4 against Hudson in college, got revenge.
Alonso crushed a 444-foot homer with a 114.7 mph exit velocity off Hudson in the first inning of Sunday's 6-4 loss to the Cardinals.
"He can call me any time he wants," Callaway said.
Alonso said there was no bad blood between he and Hudson -- "He shoved it every single time," Alonso said -- even though they go way back. He just wanted an opportunity to play.
"Do your homework, kids," Alonso said.
Callaway was initially going to give Alonso the day off after taking a pitch off his hand in the eighth inning of Saturday's 10-2 loss. Alonso check-swung during his fourth at-bat. The ball first hit the knob of the bat and then hit his hand. He finished the plate appearance -- flying out to right -- before he was replaced in the field.
Although X-rays on Alonso's hand came back negative -- "absolutely negative," in Alonso's words -- Callaway wanted to give his rookie first baseman an extra day of rest. Instead, Alonso was texting Callaway on his way to dinner trying to convince him he would be able to play.
"He was like, 'Hey, I want to play tomorrow. This guy, I hate this guy. I played against him in college,'" Callaway said before the game. "I don't know what he was saying. He was going nuts."
It paid off on Sunday.