While fans of the New York Yankees and New York Mets will inevitably trade barbs after Pete Alonso tied Aaron Judge’s rookie home run record of 52 on Friday night, Judge himself has offered nothing but glowing praise for the up-and-coming slugger.
Speaking to the media following the Yankees’ 14-7 win against the Texas Rangers, Judge said there was “no better person to share” the record with, while offering a prediction that his record will fall on Saturday or Sunday.
"No better person to share it with," Judge said, "He's eventually going to break it. I know that, for sure."
"I'm happy for him, man -- I got a chance to meet him this year and talk with him a little bit, and no better individual to represent not only the Mets, but the city of New York," Judge said of Alonso. "He's going to do a lot of special things over his long career. So I'm excited for him, man. It's just the beginning for him and the first of many records he's going to break."
It was just two years ago that Judge broke the previous rookie record of 49 home runs set by Mark McGwire in 1987. In doing so, he probably thought his record would stand just as long as McGwire’s, if not longer. But Alonso has taken MLB by storm much in the same manner Judge did in 2017.
To Judge’s credit, he realizes that records are made to be broken, and the more stars there are, the better off baseball will be. Particularly in New York. After all, Judge has never been one to demand the spotlight. He’s always the first one to share it, and his generous words on Alonso back that up.
‘Nothing wrong with friendly competition’
While Judge figures to be a Yankees cornerstone for years to come, the same is true of Alonso with the Mets. As such, their numbers are going to be compared and their careers debated perhaps well beyond their playing days. It’s inevitable. So they might as well embrace it now and have fun with it moving forward.
That’s exactly how Alonso is looking at the situation.
“There’s nothing wrong with some friendly competition,” Alonso said. “Some fans don’t think it’s friendly competition, but I feel that is really good for the city and to have good players not just here in Queens, but to have good players over there, I feel like that is a really good thing and a great thing for the city.”
It’s a great thing for New York. It’s an even better thing for MLB to have two of baseball’s brightest stars battling under the bright lights of the world’s greatest city.
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