NEW YORK (AP) - Mets rookie Pete Alonso plans to compete in the Home Run Derby during All-Star week in Cleveland.
The power-hitting first baseman says he accepted an invitation from Major League Baseball to participate July 8 regardless of whether he's selected to the National League squad for the game the following night.
Alonso entered Friday tied for second in the majors with 27 home runs, an NL rookie record before the All-Star break and already a Mets rookie mark for a full season.
Alonso, nicknamed Polar Bear Pete, was not elected by fans to start the All-Star Game but could be chosen as a backup when pitchers and reserves are announced Sunday.
New York teammate and buddy Jeff McNeil walked through the Mets' dugout carrying a giant stuffed polar bear Friday afternoon.
"This is Pete," McNeil said, smiling.
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