After an expectation-shattering performance at the 2021 Home Run Derby where he emerged victorious, Pete Alonso has further solidified the notion that he is a modern-day legend amongst baseball stars. The New York Mets first baseman has earned quite a bit of a cult following amongst Mets fans, and thus has been given a pretty iconic nickname: Polar Bear.
So, why did Pete end up nicknamed after the largest bear on Earth, how does it connect to his baseball skills, and what other details about the situation do we know? Keep reading to find out!
So, why is Pete Alonso called Polar Bear? The name was given to him by a fellow baseball champion.
Speaking to reporters back in 2019, per The New York Post, Pete said that the moniker of Polar Bear was given to him by another notable baseball star.
"Todd Frazier. In Spring Training, he said 'You look like a big, damn polar bear.' And then it just kind of stuck," Pete recalled. "So if any of you guys know Todd Frazier, he’s a loudmouth from Jersey. He tells it how it is. But I love that guy. He’s a great teammate. But he’s quite the character. He’s a clown. But definitely got it from him."
Todd has also had quite a notable career in baseball. A fellow Home Run Derby champion, he also has some seriously impressive stats. During his time in the MLB, he secured 218 home runs with 640 runs batted in.
Keen fans of the Mets will recall that Noah Syndergaard was actually the first player to use the nickname for Pete in public, dubbing him "Pete the Polar Bear" after a 2019 victory against the Washington Nationals.
The name isn't just an endearing term given by close friends, however. It actually reflects Pete's sheer ability and strength in the game. His presence and ability on the field are similar to that of the largest and most powerful kind of bear on the planet.
Pete's remarkable strength coupled with an ideal body shape for his position has put him in quite a fantastic position stat-wise. He has 86 career home runs, and 204 runs batted in total. These commendable figures have grown exponentially in the time since he was first given the nickname; he effectively doubled his stats in the last three years.
Pete's take on the nickname? He said back in 2019 when news first broke, "I'll embrace it." It's clear that the constant prevalence of the nickname and his lack of stopping people from using it means that he must've grown at least somewhat fond of it.
After all, being nicknamed after an animal that can eliminate virtually any of its enemies is a pretty solid compliment for a professional sports athlete who is looking to win by any means necessary.