Back in 2017, right before the New York Yankees traded for him, Giancarlo Stanton captured the NL MVP after leading MLB with 59 homers, 132 RBI, a .631 slugging percentage and a 169 OPS+. Like now-teammate Aaron Judge, Stanton was in the midst of chasing history.
But he came up one short. On Sept. 28, with four games left in the regular season, Stanton slugged homers No. 58 and 59 against the Atlanta Braves to give him an outside shot of hitting 60 or more, but was unable to put another over the fence in the next three contests.
Nothing to be ashamed of, though. Hell of a run and one of the most memorable seasons in modern MLB history. The manner in which the ball flew off his bat that year was unforgettable. The fact that he hit 30 total homers in July and August was incredible enough. His eight in September was actually one more than he hit in each month from from April-June (he hit exactly seven), so it’s not like he “choked.”
But how about Stanton poking some good old fun at himself after Tuesday night’s heroics? After Judge’s 60th bomb to lead off the bottom of the ninth, the next three runners reached base before Stanton sent a laser over the left-field wall for a walk-off grand slam that saw the Yankees win in dramatic fashion, 9-8.
In the postgame, Stanton was asked about the pressure of facing the “number 60” back in 2017 and how he dealt with it. Everyone got a good laugh here.
Giancarlo Stanton trolled himself after hitting walk-off grand slam for Yankees
Nothing like a walk-off granny and some light self-deprecating humor to start digging yourself out of an offensive rut!
It’s been tough to watch Stanton ever since his return from the injured list due to an Achilles issue, but Yankees fans know his one-of-a-kind power and aggression is always around the corner, waiting to be unlocked to help the team go on a torrid run. The postseason would sure be good timing for that.
Despite Stanton’s 2022 campaign being below-average for his standards (.210 AVG, .748 OPS, 110 OPS+), he’s still got 374 career dingers himself and is an All-Star at the age of 32. Had injuries not held him back since 2019, he’d be well into the 400s and his up-and-down Yankees tenure might be viewed more favorably.
Stanton’s personality is built for New York, though, and he’s able to handle the blows. He used to being booed incessantly regardless of how minuscule his shortcomings were. He’s managed to embrace the city, tune out the noise, work on himself, and have some fun while largely playing second-fiddle to Judge.
His affability amidst such ridicule has been admirable, and hopefully some 2022 postseason heroics can fully flip his Yankees narrative and make that All-Star Game MVP all the more worthwhile when the chapter is closed on this year.