Giancarlo Stanton makes emotional return to Miami
Tuesday at Marlins Park was different, to say the least.
Longtime Marlins superstar Giancarlo Stanton is back and he seemed to have brought 26,275 rowdy fans with him to the ballpark to see the New York Yankees win 2-1 in 12 innings.
When Stanton went up to the bat for the first time, he received a standing ovation from the Miami crowd. The emotion was palpable, as he tried to hold it back. Stanton acknowledged the fans, both Marlins and Yankee transplants, with a rotating wave and salute with his fist over his chest.
Even though the attendance numbers have reached that number twice before this season, the atmosphere felt like a playoff game but sounded like a Yankees home game.
Before Stanton took the field he got to reflect publicly about returning to Miami to face the one team he’s played for his entire career up until this point.
“Yeah, I always miss Miami, even when I go back in the offseason and I go home,” the slugger said. “I miss the city. It’s cool to be back, cool flying in and driving over the bridge and everything about the city.”
When you look at him, the Yankee pinstripes seems to suit him well. Sure, it may feel like pretty much every known baseball player ends up a Yankee at some point in their career but with Stanton, he looks like the prototypical Bronx Bomber.
“He’s a Yankee,” said fellow Yankee outfielder Aaron Judge. “I love how he handles himself on the field, getting his work in and always coming to play. Even as a guy, he’s one of the best guys in baseball. He has a lot of heart, has a lot of passion so he just fits right in with this great team that we have.”
Stanton still has love for Miami and hopes the Marlins eventually turn into a winner. While he wanted no part of another rebuild process, he still roots for the Marlins’ success from afar, while trying to carve out his own championship path.
“I hope they’ll figure it out,” Stanton said. “I hope they get it turned around. It will take a couple of years. But if the pieces are put together right, I think they’ll turn it around.”
The next time he hits a home run will No. 300 of his career. He’s got one more chance on Wednesday to do it in Miami.
“So it would be really cool to do it in this park,” he said.
He still hates that tacky home run sculpture, which stands now as a monument to the previous owner. He took solace in knowing that his home runs will no longer set off the sculpture, but rookie outfielder Austin Dean’s dinger activated it for old time’s sake.
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