The moment Pete Alonso knew he could break rookie HR record

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It was Aug. 18 when it hit Pete Alonso. He had a shot at history, at becoming the game’s all-time leading home run hitter as a rookie.

“I think it really set in after I hit No. 40 in Kansas City, where it’s like, ‘Holy s–t, I got a chance at this,’ ” he recalled on SNY’s “The Cookie Club” Mets podcast on Wednesday.

As much as Alonso wanted the record — which he achieved last Sept. 28, when he went deep for the 53rd time, breaking Yankees slugger Aaron Judge’s record of 52 set in 2017 — he refused to just look for the long ball. The Mets were still in the wild-card race.

“If there’s a guy on second, I got to try and get a base hit and move him over,” he said. “I can’t just try and hit homers. I got to be a good hitter first. Chasing a personal accolade and chasing a playoff berth I feel like those are two totally opposite [things]. It’s a conflict of interest, because one is very, very personal and the other thing is extremely team-related. For me, I tried the best that I could to be just a great team player.

“Just staying within myself helped me get that chance to hit 52 and 53.”

Alonso hit his 50th on Sept. 20, but only one over the next six games. He was admittedly pressing. Before that weekend series against the Braves, Alonso spent extra time studying their pitchers, up to 90 minutes per night, even though he had seen them so many times during the season.

“It was very impressive, because you couldn’t even tell outside the field that he was trying to accomplish history,” Dominic Smith said on the podcast. “I think that’s what makes him great and that’s why people gravitate to him. He’s just a great dude and that whole run was awesome. I had fun from the first home run to the last.”

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