The New York Yankees may have started Opening Day in less than savory fashion after the Boston Red Sox jumped out to a 3-0 lead, but home runs by Anthony Rizzo, Giancarlo Stanton and DJ LeMahieu helped the Bombers get back in the game. This set the stage for a Josh Donaldson walk-off.
The Stanton blast tied the game at 3-3 in the fourth inning, taking former Yankee Nathan Eovaldi deep. The homer was a classic Stanton opposite-field blast, as it left his bat at 116 miles per hour before landing right over Yankee Stadium’s short porch.
When you’re sitting in the outfield seats at a Yankees game, you better bring your baseball glove. Mishandling a Stanton liner that didn’t even stay in the yard for three full seconds could lead to some broken bones, and one unlucky fan found that out during Friday afternoon’s game.
Director Randy Wilkins showed a picture of his friend’s broken finger after he tried and failed to secure the Stanton home run. He might have left the game with a battle scar (and missed out on getting the ball), but at least he had a prime seat to watch the Yankees mount a comeback.
Yankees slugger Giancarlo Stanton broke a fan’s hand with a home run.
Stanton’s home run was the 348th of his career, putting him in a tie with Reds great George Foster for 97th on the all-time list despite 2,300 fewer at-bats. While the dimensions were certainly favorable, he might be the only player in the league who can hit the ball the other way that hard.
With Joey Gallo still trying to get in a groove and Aaron Hicks working his way back from a host of injuries, the Yankees are going to lean on Stanton more than ever this year. His blast off of Eovaldi in an Opening Day victory helped him get off to a good start.
While Stanton struck out four times, including in a potential game-winning situation late in the game, the Yankees will put up with an occasional golden sombrero as long as he is still putting the ball in the seats with his majestic blasts or line-drive missiles. The full Stanton experience was on display during the Boston win.
The only player that had a higher average exit velocity than Stanton last season was teammate Aaron Judge. We’ll need to see more before we can declare that Stanton is headed for an All-Star season, but he started 2022 off with a bang. Let’s just hope the beat-up fan in question gets taken care of. Get the guy a signed foam finger so he can cheer on the team and cover up the splint he’ll likely have to wear for the next month.