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Dodgers slugger Cody Bellinger reacts to Mets’ Pete Alonso setting NL rookie home run record

New York Mets rookie slugger Pete Alonso set a National League record on Sunday afternoon by hitting his 40th home run of the season, breaking the previous record of 39 set by Cody Bellinger in 2017:

Alonso–who also won the Home Run Derby in Cleveland–uncorked an absolute bomb off Kansas City Royals right-hander Jacob Barnes, eviscerating a previous record that lasted all of two years.

Bellinger congratulated Alonso shortly after:

The MLB rookie home run record is owned by Aaron Judge, who clubbed 52 dingers in 2017. Mark McGwire ranks second on that list, as he hit 49 round-trippers with the Oakland Athletics in 1987.

After hitting 30 homers in the first half, Alonso has hit six homers in August, helping a surging Mets team to climb right back into the thick of the NL Wild Card race. And, with 40 homers in his first 123 games, Alonso is on pace to (at least) equal Judge’s record of 52, if he can stay healthy.

Alonso has been a revelatory talent in New York. He was not even the projected starter at first base heading into Spring Training, but he won the job and has not looked back.

The 24-year-old out of the University of Florida leads all qualified rookies in homers, RBIs, and runs scored while ranking second in slugging and wRC+ (behind Astros rookie Yordan Alvarez).

Aside from making MLB history, Alonso is also on the verge of breaking the franchise record for home runs set in a single season. He needs just one more to tie that mark, set by Todd Hundley (1996) and Carlos Beltran (2006).