Pete Alonso Charity Event

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Parker Wielkens

Posing with a “P”, the Plant softball team poses with MLB first baseman Pete Alonso. The softball team helped host Alonso’s charity event at Plant High School this weekend.

Parker Wielkens, Staffer

On Saturday, Jan. 14, the New York Mets first baseman, Pete Alonso, returned to Plant High School to host an event supporting his charity- The Alonso Foundation. The event held food trucks, entertainment, and baseball.   

The event invited local Little League teams ranging from ages 12-16 to participate in a home run derby. All with the help of Plant High Schools baseball and softball teams, who shagged the balls to keep operations running smoothly.   

“The baseball team got in there early and set up for the derby. We helped shag fly balls for the kids and ran them back. It was a super cool and rewarding experience,” senior Jack Meade said. 

The Pete Alonso Foundation advocates for anti-bullying measures in schools, refurbishing local fields, providing safe spaces for children to play outdoors, and more! This event specifically supported the refurbishing and renewal of Little League fields across Tampa Bay.   

“It was an amazing opportunity for all plant players, and the professionals were super cool with taking lots of pictures for Plant social media. Pete Alonso has a lot of Plant pride, and I think it is an outstanding show of his character that he continues to return to his roots and give back to the community he grew up in,” senior softball player, Elizabeth Breen, said. 

Alonso also came out with some of his major league friends to show off their skills to the community. Angels’ infielder Gio Urshela, Astros outfielder Kyle Tucker, and Red Sox infielder Christian Arroyo. These four captivated fans on and off the field through social media. They allowed endless photo opportunities and also shared their footage from the event on the official MLB Instagram account.   

“Seeing all the behind-the-scenes of putting together this event was super cool. Being able to see Pete Alonso hit on our own field, then seeing that same video posted on MLB Instagram was crazy. Overall, the event was really fun, and I got to spend it alongside all my best friend Kirk Kolano, who is also on the baseball team and helped with the event,” sophomore Matthew Midyett said. 

The professionals closed the event with some priceless advice for the Plant baseball and softball teams. Giving them insight into the big leagues and how they climbed to the top — ending their great event on a great note for student-athletes, Tampa citizens, and more who gathered at Plant High School to support Alonso’s cause!