Cody Bellinger has become one of the best players in Major League Baseball, slugging his way into the National League MVP race. However, one of the records he set when he first burst onto the MLB spotlight has been broken by another star first baseman.
Pete Alonso of the New York Mets hit his 40th home run of the season in the ninth inning of Sunday’s win against the Kansas City Royals. It broke his tie with the 39 that Bellinger hit in 2017 to set the NL rookie home run record.
Alonso still trails Aaron Judge for the MLB rookie home run record, as the New York Yankees slugger hit a whopping 52 in 2017, his first full season in the Majors. Mark McGwire hit 49 in his rookie campaign with the Oakland Athletics in 1987.
Bellinger’s 2017 total passed the previous NL rookie record of 38 home runs, shared by Wally Berger and Frank Robinson. Berger set the record in 1930 with the Boston Braves, and Robinson tied it in 1956 with the Cincinnati Reds.
Alonso taking claim to the record led to an exchange on Twitter with Bellinger.
Thanks mane!!! Keep doin it this year 🤙🏼
— Pete Alonso (@Pete_Alonso20) August 18, 2019
The record adds another highlight to an already spectacular rookie season for Alonso, who made the NL All-Star team and won the 2019 Home Run Derby in Cleveland last July. He gave 10% of his $1 million Derby winnings to two military veteran charities.
Alonso should soon put his name next to another record as he is only one shy of the Mets’ single-season record. Todd Hundley hit 41 home runs in 1996, which Carlos Beltran then matched in 2006.
Bellinger still holds the Dodgers rookie home run record, ahead of Mike Piazza’s 35 homers in 1993. Piazza, of course, spent his Hall of Fame career primarily between the Dodgers and Mets.
And while Alonso joined Will Smith in breaking various rookie records Bellinger held, the two-time All-Star and NL MVP candidate is having a fine 2019 season himself. He became the youngest and fastest player in Dodgers franchise history to 40 home runs, and is tracking to break the organization’s overall mark (Shawn Green’s 49).