Should have made it
There are some glaring omissions from the list. Other area sports personalities could have made the list over say Alcorn State (250), Timothee Chalamet (244), Bill Hader (237), Schitt’s Creek (232), and Love Island (228).
Pete Alonso was the face of a resurgent New York Mets team in the second half of the 2019 season. His enthusiasm and tape measure dingers endeared him not only to Amazins fans but baseball fans in general. Between mid-June and late-August MLB.com had eight of his home runs as “Must C” on their website. Fist Alonso broke the Mets rookie HR record, then team’s single-season homer record, before finally hitting his 53rd jack on September 28 to become the MLB’s all-time rookie home run champ.
For almost two years the hockey world waited for the 2019 NHL draft. Jack Hughes, an 18-year-old from Orlando was said to be the best prospect since Sidney Crosby and maybe even Wayne Gretzky. The New Jersey Devils won the draft lottery and selected him with the league’s first overall pick.
The Mets have a pitcher, Noah Syndergaard, who is nicknamed Thor for his thunderous right arm.
His meltdown last season in Boston was legendary and had hoops fans across the globe talking. What could Kyrie Irving do for an encore? Backchannel with KD to sign with Brooklyn on the buddy plan. In the process, Kyrie helped to change the balance of power in the NBA Eastern Conference.
Again, if Buzz is the criteria, only Connor McGregor gets more buzz in MMA than UFC Light Heavyweight Champion Jon “Bones” Jones. The Rochester native is back from his third suspension and defended his belt twice in 2019. That included one of the best fights of the year at UFC 239 against Thiago Santos.
A-Rod. C’mon he got engaged to J-Lo.
Undefeated boxer Errol Spence Jr. had a tumultuous 2019 which kept him in the headlines. The Long Island-born IBF and WBC Welterweight champ was involved in what many believe was the “fight of the year” when he defeated Shawn Porter by split decision on September 28.
After that, it all came crashing down, literally. Spence flipped his Ferrari at a high rate of speed in Dallas, while intoxicated just two weeks later. Combining just the Dallas area news stations, videos of his spectacular crash have about one million hits. The champ shockingly suffered no broken bones which is a miracle considering he wasn’t wearing a seatbelt at the time.
Other area athletes who could have made the list include Giants quarterbacks Eli Manning and Daniel Jones, Knicks forward RJ Barrett, Yankees outfielder Aaron Judge (even though he missed a chunk of the season due to injuries could get elected as the Mayor of NYC tomorrow), and Mets outfielder Dom Smith. Who could forget him on his scooter (due to a stress fracture in his foot) coming on to the field to celebrate wins with his teammates down the stretch?
This is not a New York athlete, but I think it’s a shame tennis player Coco Gauff. The 15-year-old phenom who burst on to the scene at Wimbledon and made tennis fun to watch this summer.
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