Mets’ Pete Alonso surprises University Hospital workers with message of appreciation

Mets first baseman and the MLB Players Trust reach out to workers who have shown commitment to saving others during the pandemic

In an effort to show appreciation and gratitude for Newark-based University Hospital workers on the front lines of the pandemic, a Zoom call from the Major League Baseball Players Trust’s “High Fives for Our Healthcare Heroes” national campaign took place Monday to the surprise of four selected employees of UH.

Through its fifth Zoom call of the initiative, New York Mets first baseman Pete Alonso and the MLB Players Trust were paired with a hospital in a city that they currently play or have played in to thank frontline workers for the difficult and selfless work being done across the country to bring an end to the pandemic.

The four employees were selected by the Newark-based hospital to represent its values of integrity and teamwork. They include: Brittany Bell, paramedic; Evelyn Bragg, EKG technician; Sima Farid, social worker; and Dorathy Mbamalu, nurse.

In addition to the call, the trust surprised the University Hospital Foundation with a $5,000 gift to support employee relief and recognition efforts during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Alonso, a former second-round draft pick out of the University of Florida, has established himself as one of baseball’s elite power hitters at age 27. Since his debut with the Mets in 2019, he ranks first among big-league hitters with 106 home runs. He won the Home Run Derby at the 2019 All-Star Game in Cleveland and defended his title in 2021 in Colorado.

The greater Newark community has been hit hard by COVID, having experienced the most coronavirus deaths and cases in New Jersey. Despite these challenges, University Hospital staff members continue to provide the best possible care, even as they witness their family, friends and colleagues affected by COVID.

The Major League Baseball Players Trust, charitable arm of the Major League Baseball Players Association, is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization that harnesses the expertise, influence, and passions of players to create meaningful and sustainable change in the lifelong well-being of others.