NEW YORK -- Pete Alonso has been full of surprises during a memorable rookie season with the Mets. For fans in his new home city, his gesture Wednesday night might be the biggest home run yet.
Alonso coordinated the purchase and production of custom 9/11 cleats for Mets players to wear on the 18th anniversary of the terrorist attacks. The shoes were painted red, white and blue and included "We will never forget" and lettering for first responder units.
"I think it's kind of sad that first game back, they've kind of shot it down every single year since," Alonso said. "It's real unfortunate. So a way to kind of get around that was the cleats."
"I feel like if Major League Baseball kind of got their hands on it, it may not have been approved," Alonso said. "But I'm really happy that we kind of banded together here in the clubhouse and made something cool happen."
The cleats were just the latest in Alonso's efforts to assist those impacted by the attacks. After winning the All-Star Home Run Derby in July, Alonso donated $50,000 of his $1 million prize to the Tunnels to Towers Foundation.
"It's not just the victims, it's the scars left behind, like someone missing their mom or missing their dad," Alonso said. "For me, I can't imagine what that's like. The toll isn't necessarily all taken on that day, it's progressively after because there's not someone there in their family. It's different from then on."
Both the Mets and Diamondbacks wore first responder hats during batting practice, then lined up on their respective baselines alongside firefighters, police and EMTs prior to the national anthem.
The Mets ended the game with nine runs on 11 hits.
More AP MLB: https://apnews.com/MLB and https://twitter.com/AP—Sports