N.Y. Mets All-Star Pete Alonso returned to Maimonides Park, where his professional baseball career began, to host a Homers for Heroes fundraiser benefiting New York City’s first responders Sept. 27. Participating in a home run derby were eight top high school players from across the city in the Cyclones’ first annual Battle of the Boroughs.
“The home run derby is something special to me and I wanted to do sometime to give back to the community,” Alonso said. “I just came from the cages and these kids can really swing it. They’re something special.”
One of the special kids was Gary Perone Jr., the son of the Cyclones’ assistant general manager who organized the event. The 15-year old lefty sophomore from Moore Catholic H.S. in Staten Island showed power to left field with several home runs, but fell short of reaching the final round.
Subsequently, a Brooklyn contestant did reach the final round and won the derby. Isaiah Shivers, a 16-year-old sophomore from Midwood H.S., earned a final score of 59 points to beat Esteban Garcia, who had 52.