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Edgardo Alfonzo  

Former Professional Baseball Player & Coach

Alfonzo was born and raised in Venezuela, where he learned to play baseball at a young age. This was alongside his older brother Edgar, who was signed by the California Angels in 1985 when Alfonzo was just 11. However, Alfonzo was not far behind his brother. He was signed by the Mets in 1991 at just 17-years-old, entering the minor leagues that year. This is where he began to set himself apart, as he dominated in his professional debut. In 54 games with the Mets’ rookie team, he hit .331 in 175 at-bats. The next year he was even better, hitting .350 across low and high-A. After a couple more solid seasons of development in the minors when he saw his power numbers increase, Alfonzo was finally called up.

In 1995, at just 21-years-old, he made his MLB debut. In his rookie season, Alfonzo was a solid contributor. In 101 games, he posted a .278 batting average with four home runs. He took a major step forward in 1997. He played in 151 games, upping his average to .315 and hitting 10 home runs. This was enough to earn recognition in MVP voting, as he finished 13th in the race. In 1998, his average dipped to .278 but his power increased as he hit 17 homers. This set up a 1999 season that was arguably the greatest of his career.

In 158 games, Alfonzo hit a career-high 27 home runs, drove in 108 runs and had a .304 average. He earned the Silver Slugger Award at second base for his performance, winning it over other notable players like Craig Biggio and Jeff Kent. However, it would be the 2000 season that would help cement his legacy among Mets fans. In his 18 at-bats during the series, he hit .217 with four RBI. This helped give the Mets their first World Series berth since 1986, where they ultimately fell to the New York Yankees. It was a significant moment as he had been drawing comparisons to Yankees’ star Derek Jeter for much of the season. While this was another standout year for Alfonzo, it would prove to be the last such one.

By the end of his MLB career, Alfonzo totaled 1,532 hits, 146 home runs and a .284 average. These were relatively disappointing totals for a hitter that was looking to become a mainstay in the sport. For many around the Mets, Cooperstown was expected to be in his future at some point before his career was derailed due to injuries.

Since retiring, Alfonzo has turned to staying around the game as a coach. Most of his time as a coach has come with the Brooklyn Cyclones, a Mets minor league affiliate. After spending a couple seasons as a bench coach, he became the team’s manager in 2017. He then led them to a league championship in 2019 before being let go by the Mets after the season. However, he could become a name to look out for in future manager roles if he chooses to stay around the sport. In January of 2020, it was announced that he would be inducted into the Mets Hall of Fame.


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