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Pete Alonso is changing what it means to be a leader in the clubhouse. A special gesture on the 18th anniversary of the 9/11 attacks proved that rookies can be leaders, too.
The 24-year-old planned ahead for the Mets game against the Diamondbacks on Wednesday, Sept. 11 at Citi Field. Alonso walked around the clubhouse, jotted down his teammates’ shoe sizes and took notes of their personal styles. With the help of his agents, he ordered personalized patriotic cleats for every single teammate to commemorate 9/11. The Mets wore the cleats for the game and beat the D-backs in a 9-0 shutout win by scoring nine runs on 11 hits.
"I just want to give back and I want to help. I don't just want to be known as a good baseball player. Hopefully, I want to be known as a good person too,” Alonso said.
Putting together this touching tribute was a huge risk on Alonso’s part. The Mets rookie originally had the idea of creating custom hats with first responder groups like NYPD and FDNY decorated on them. But Major League Baseball has a history of disallowing such salutes.
“Unfortunately, there’s a lot of red tape with Major League Baseball and they shot that idea down,” Alonso said. “I think it’s kind of sad that since that day — the first game back — they shut it down every year since. I think that’s really unfortunate. So a way to kind of get around that was the cleats.”
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