Four little letters. That’s all it was.
Four letters, typed in all-caps, at the end of a tweet. Spur of the moment.
Obviously when I wrote that tweet three years ago I had no idea what was coming. I just wanted to express to our fans how important they were to us. That they mattered. I wanted to get across that their energy can be the difference between winning and losing. Those coin-flip type games, where the littlest thing can make a difference — a bad hop, a weird call, a lucky bounce. There’ve been moments at Citi Field when I swear I can actually feel that energy in the air, and I know it’s going to make an impact.
We feed off our fans, for real. When our fans are fired up, we play better. It’s as simple as that.
And that’s what I was trying to get across back in 2019 when I typed out those four letters. Then it was like from there, our fans took that rallying cry and put a spontaneous culture change into effect. They took those four letters and ran with them.
Now, almost exactly three years later, it’s still going strong. It’s still getting everyone pumped as hell. And you know what, I’m not gonna lie … that feels pretty damn good. I’m psyched that it’s something Mets fans feel an attachment to — that the hashtag is all over Twitter, and you have people using it as their email signoff or texting it to friends on game days or screaming it out at Citi Field. I absolutely love that.
Because here’s the thing, you guys. And this is important.
THAT’S EXACTLY HOW IT SHOULD BE!
This is the New York Mets we’re talking about, you know what I mean? We represent the greatest city in the world. And whether you’re a player or a fan, we all should be proud to be a part of this thing. We should say LFGM like we effing mean it. Like it matters.
I know it does for me.
By now, I’m sure a lot of Mets fans know a bit about my ties to New York. That my great-grandpa moved his family to Queens in the ’30s when things were getting unstable and dangerous in his home country of Spain.
But the bonds between my family and this city go so much deeper than just that. My grandpa grew up in Queens and graduated from NYU after serving in WWII. He actually met my grandma down on Wall Street while he was in grad school. The story goes that he didn’t know how to type, so his plan was to try to find the best-looking receptionist in New York City to help him with his papers … and the rest is history.
My grandma delivered my dad at a hospital in — where else? — Queens. And when he was a kid, there were aunts and uncles and cousins around all the time. This is basically where it all started for my dad’s side of the family in this country. I was born down in Florida, but from the very first time I visited New York as a teenager … man, I just felt such a special connection to this place.
Then, when the Mets drafted me, it was like destiny or something. When they brought me to town to sign my contract, I couldn’t stop looking around and thinking about how my grandpa might have driven down the same streets back in the day, or walked past the same buildings.
And now, every time I put on my uniform, there’s real, genuine significance there. I feel it deeply. I absolutely cherish the fact that the name ALONSO is what’s on the back of my jersey. It’s not my name, as an individual. It doesn’t say PETE back there. It’s my family’s name. My family’s history! And I feel truly blessed by all the connections there.
We represent the greatest city in the world. And whether you’re a player or a fan, we all should be proud to be a part of this thing. We should say LFGM like we effing mean it.- Pete Alonso
My grandpa passed away before I made it to the bigs, but in so many ways I feel like he’s out there with me when I pull that jersey on and head out to first. He loved baseball — he’d tell me stories all the time about listening to Brooklyn Dodgers games on the radio back in the day — and I know he’d be so proud. Not just because his grandson made it to the show. But also because he made it to the show here. In this particular place.
He’d be so happy that there’s an Alonso out in Queens doing his thing at the ballpark.
There are just so many layers to this for me. It really is special in so many ways. The whole thing. And as much as I’m trying to right now, it’s hard to effectively put it all into words.
I just love playing for this city so much. I take so much pride in it. It’s a dream come true for me and my family. And I couldn’t be more excited for this team to continue to grow together, and for us to give our fans even more reasons to jump out of their seats and go nuts as we move closer and closer to the playoffs.
On a personal level, I can’t wait to get better as this season goes on, and to do everything in my power to help this team win as many games as possible. That’s my entire focus right now. It’s my mission.
I know for a fact that I can get better from here, too. I’m confident of that. There’s always something for me to work on — whether it’s pitch recognition stuff, or my footwork at first, or a million other things. I always have a list of things I can improve on. So I’m going to keep grinding and put in even more work. You can count on that.
But you know what? I’ll absolutely be loving every minute of that grind.
I’ve worked my ass off since I was a little kid to earn the right to play the game I love at the highest level. So now to have actually made it, and then to somehow not do everything in baseball with joy and energy and emotion??? I mean … then what was the point, right?
I totally remember what it was like being a little kid and playing this game, and I feel like that plays a huge part in how I am as a professional. I really do try to play for that seven- or eight-year-old me when I hit the field. That passion, that joy, it’s always gonna be there with me, you know? It’s just extremely tough to rein that part of me in.
Here’s the thing: I’m not going to show anybody up — I respect my opponents. But I get emotional playing this game. I have fun, I work hard, I get after it. And I’m not going to be afraid to be myself out there. I am who I am.
If you don't like it, then … I’m sorry about that. But I can’t be something I’m not. And I feel like Mets fans, they know that. They get me. I feel like a lot of them — New Yorkers, through and through — are exactly the same way.
Maybe that’s part of why the connection I feel with our fans is so strong.
And, you know what, if I can be totally real with you for a second right now, just let me say … that connection, that support system, that love, it’s something I’m appreciating even more than ever these days.
I haven’t talked a ton about it since it happened, but the car accident I was in earlier this year is something that has really impacted me on several different levels.
It’s one of those things where … my life could’ve been gone in an instant. Just like that.
When it happened, I was super relaxed and wasn’t worried about a thing. Just driving in my truck like I do all the time. I had a green light. Nothing unusual at all. The light wasn’t even yellow, it was just a straight green light. So for the driver coming from the side, the light was red. It’s a situation we’re all in constantly, right? You have the green, and you keep going. You don’t even think about it. You just assume that the driver with the red light is obviously going to stop.
In my case, though, the person didn’t stop.
His car plowed straight into the side of my truck. The collision literally sounded like a bomb went off. Then, before I could even figure out what had happened, my truck started to flip.
It was horrifying. Just really scary.
And you know how sometimes people say time slows down when something like that happens? Like how everything moves in slow motion? Well … that definitely was not my experience.
This was something that happened fast. It was like everything was moving at a million miles an hour. And in those moments when my truck was flipping over and over, I thought that was going to be it. In my head, I was like, Alright, that's it. It's over for me. I’m done. The end.
That connection, that support system, that love, it’s something I’m appreciating even more than ever these days.- Pete Alonso
Fortunately, I survived. (It turns out I was just really lucky to be driving my F-250, so I was super well protected.) Somehow I wasn’t even really physically hurt. I was able to get up and walk away from the crash. But if that guy had hit somebody else in a different car, there’s a good chance that it wouldn’t have turned out as well for that person. And the whole thing has been a lot for me to deal with.
When something like this happens to you, there’s so much that cycles through your mind. There are a ton of what-ifs involved. I mean, my wife was driving right behind me. If that other driver had arrived at that intersection two seconds later, he would've hit her instead.
And even beyond that, there are just a lot of things that have gone through my head since I got hit. A big accident like that, when it happens to you, I don’t care who you are, it’s not easy. No matter how strong you might think you are, it can still be rough in a lot of different ways. I’m still dealing with some pretty bad PTSD from it, to be completely honest with you. And I feel very fortunate that I was able to recognize that. That I’ve been able to talk through it with some people. I mean, over the past several months I’ve really been leaning on some people that I trust and hold close. I’m continuously working through everything.
But it’s not something that quickly fades away — at least not for me. It’s going to take some time, and that’s O.K. I’m just going to keep working to navigate everything and be the best husband, son, brother, friend and teammate I can be.
Mainly, though, I’m just extremely grateful that I’m still here. I’m truly blessed. And from here on out, I really want to continue to do good things and have a positive impact on others. After the accident, it’s not just about having survived, it really is about making the most of all the time that I have left.
So, off the field, aside from just being as appreciative and grateful and caring as I can day-in and day-out, it means working alongside my wife, Haley, to really grow and expand what we’ve been doing with The Alonso Foundation. We’ve developed this really important initiative that’s meant to be there to stand up for others, and make a difference for those who can’t do it themselves. We want to lend our helping hands to anybody in need, whether it’s working with children, animal shelters, families who are affected by losing loved ones in the line of duty, or veterans battling PTSD and various other mental health issues. I’m proud of what we’re doing on that front.
Then, on the baseball side of things, it really is all about the team for me. I truly believe we have all the right pieces, in terms of skill and talent, but maybe even more importantly the guys we have are just such high-character dudes. And after everything I’ve been through, it’s just such a great feeling to show up at the ballpark every day. I don’t take it for granted.
The guys, the fans, the energy of playing this game … I cherish it now more than ever. It’s the best. And I’m so excited for what’s to come.
I don’t know if we’ll win the World Series this year, but I know that we have a real shot.
And I know that it’s going to be something we all have a hand in. Players and fans both. So, pardon me if you’ve heard this before, but there really is nothing more to say right now than….
Help support The Alonso Foundation and the programs it funds to empower youth, serve veterans and care for animals by making a pledge for each homer Pete hits during the upcoming Home Run Derby and All-Star Game here.