Mets first baseman Pete Alonso had a record-breaking rookie season in 2019, smashing 53 home runs to break Aaron Judge's single-season rookie record.
Alonso, who said he pressed for a week after hitting No. 51, explained Wednesday on The Cookie Club presented by Insomnia Cookies that it was hard to balance his home run chase against what was a Mets playoff chase in August and most of September.
"I think it really set in after I hit number 40 in Kansas City, where it's like -- I'm gonna say it -- 'holy sh-t, I've got a chance at this.' But I can't try and do it, because we're in a playoff run. if there's a guy on second (base), I gotta try and get a base hit and move him over. I can't just try and hit homers. I gotta be a good hitter first.
"Chasing a personal accolade and chasing a playoff berth, I feel like those are two totally opposite -- it's a conflict of interest. Because one thing is very, very personal, and the other thing is extremely team-related. And for me, I tried the best I could to be just a great team player, and I feel like just staying within myself helped me get that chance to hit 52 and 53."
On The Cookie Club, J.D. Davis and Dominic Smith also gave their view on what it was like watching Alonso chase the record, which you can watch above -- along with the guys telling lots of other great stories from the 2019 season.