'Boomer And Gio': 9/11 Cleats Tribute Shows Mets' Pete Alonso 'Gets It'

Boomer and Gio
September 12, 2019 - 8:56 am
Pete Alonso

Photo by Mike Stobe/Getty Images

Categories: 

Pete Alonso is still a rookie, but sometimes it’s easy to forget that.

Listen to your team news NOW.

Alonso certainly isn’t playing like a rookie. His 47 home runs lead Major League Baseball, and at the same time he leads the Mets like he is already a veteran. In what has been a dramatic and inconsistent season, Alonso has been a much-needed constant for Mickey Callaway’s team on the field and in the clubhouse.

Alonso’s leadership (and really just his good human nature) was on display on Wednesday as he was behind a touching tribute to the victims and first responders of the terrorist attacks on September 11, 2001. He spent weeks organizing commemorative 9/11-themed cleats for his entire team, which he also paid for.

Gregg Giannotti kicked off Thursday morning’s “Boomer and Gio” show by praising the Mets’ star rookie.

“Pete Alonso, when you thought that he could not more perfect,” said Giannotti. “He says ‘I’m going to get the never forget cleats for my team, I’m going around Major League Baseball because they are sticklers with this stuff even when it’s something like 9/11 that is so important to this city, that team and everyone around us.’”

Alonso said he tried to organize custom hats for his teammates as well, but the league shot that down.

After the game, Alonso spoke to reporters and further explained his thinking behind this incredible gesture.

“For me, it came from a place where I wanted to show support, not to just the victims but the families as well, because no one knows how deep those emotional scars can be. I just wanted to show recognition to all the ordinary people who felt a sense of urgency and an admirable call of duty. It’s for all the people that lost their lives and all the people that did so much to help.”

“I’ve just been thankful and gracious for this opportunity. For me, this season has been an absolute fantasy. I just want to give back. I want to help. I don’t just want to be known as a good baseball player, I want to be known as a good person, too."

Wednesday was the 18th anniversary of 9/11, when nearly 3,000 people were killed by terrorist attacks at the World Trade Center in New York, the Pentagon in Washington and a field in rural Pennsylvania where heroic passengers fought their hijackers to win back control of their doomed plane.

Even years later, the attacks still resonate fresh in the minds of New Yorkers, and they still bear a unique connection to the sports world. Boomer Esiason praised Pete Alonso for understanding that about the city he plays in now.

“I love what you said about Pete Alonso, because that kid gets it, man,” Esiason said on WFAN. “That kid is like the Aaron Judge of the New York Mets. He gets all of it. He understands who he is. He understands what he’s accomplished, and he understands what a leader does. And what a leader does, every now and again, he goes against the grain, and going against the grain is a good thing in this case because it honors the memory of 9/11 and the significance that sports had in healing this country and bringing this country together.”

The game itself was quite pleasing for Mets fans too. New York beat the Diamondbacks 9-0 and moved to within just two games of the final NL wild-card spot. Esiason credited MLB's relatively new two-team wild-card system for keeping the excitement of the end of the season alive. 

“It is tightening up at the top of this wild-card race. This is exactly what baseball was hoping for … you have all these fanbases all watching these games every single day … that was something that it took a while for us to get used to, and this is the reason why. Here we are in September and you’ve got six teams all bunched up within two and a half games of each other. And for me, as a Mets fan … it’s awesome.”

Click on the audio to listen to the full opening from Thursday’s “Boomer and Gio” show.