Monday night brought the 2019 MLB Home Run Derby under the spotlight with two of baseball’s rookies battling it out for the trophy.
It would end up being a contest involving the Toronto Blue Jays’ Vladimir Guerrero Jr. and the New York Mets’ Pete Alonso. Both players showed off their skills, but it was Alonso collecting the win.
It also has people wondering why Pete Alonso is called by the Polar Bear nickname.
Alonso got Polar Bear nickname from his coach
Some may think of polar bears as cool animals so maybe it’s that Pete Alonso is cool as a polar bear. That may be true, but in fact, he received that nickname since polar bears show raw power.
One of Alonso’s coaches on the Mets felt the “Polar Bear” nickname was perfect for the rookie.
According to SNY Mets Blog, it was his third base coach Gary DiSarcina who gave Pete Alonso the name Polar Bear. Alonso seemed to be on board as he said of the nickname, “I guess so, yeah. I’ll embrace it.”
He certainly has en route to a great rookie season with the Mets.
For his rookie season, Alonso has 30 home runs, 68 RBI, and a .280 batting average. He’s tied for second in the NL home runs category with Cody Bellinger.
One would think the Polar Bear is the early favorite for NL Rookie of the Year and a future MLB All-Star.
Polar Bear Pete Alonso wins Home Run Derby
The Polar Bear’s raw power was on display during the 2019 MLB Home Run Derby in Cleveland on Monday night. He’d make it to the finals against a tough competitor in Vladimir Guerrero Jr. of the Blue Jays.
However, by the time Vlad got there, he’d expended a lot of energy in tiebreaker situations against the Dodgers’ Joc Pederson.
— Jeff McNeil (@JeffMcNeil805) July 9, 2019
A win’s a win, though, and Alonso showed his power at the plate. He’d hit 23 in the final round to top the 22 that Guerrero had.
Alonso didn’t even need his 30 seconds of bonus time as he was celebrating the win before his four minutes fully expired.
That makes Pete “Polar Bear” Alonso the first New York Mets player to win the Derby since Daryl Strawberry was a co-champion at the 1986 event, per ESPN.
Based on Monday’s victory and his body of work so far in the MLB season, it’s clear the powerful Polar Bear is on pace for one amazing career.