Giancarlo Stanton made his New York debut on Sunday night at the BBWAA dinner in Midtown, accepting the National League MVP Award for his historic 2017 season with the Miami Marlins.
But as Stanton accepted his award, he took a moment to reflect on former Miami Marlins teammate Jose Fernandez, who tragically passed away in a boating accident in September 2016.
During their time in Miami, Stanton and Fernandez were seen as the faces of the Marlins franchise. But despite their dual star power, Stanton and Fernandez were aware that their tenure could result in no postseason appearances. It was during the 2016 All-Star game that Fernandez came up with a backup plan for success. And of course, it was only fitting Fernandez’s plan included both Stanton and the Yankees.
“He said, ‘Hey, if this doesn’t work down here, I’m gonna be a free agent, and I’m gonna sign with the Yankees and you’re coming with me,’ ” Stanton said. “Well, now I’m here and I’m gonna take a little piece of him with me and bring it to New York. It’s great to be here.”
Prior to Fernandez’s passing, he predicted Stanton was going to win the National League MVP award and hit 60 home runs in 2017. Stanton was only one home run shy of the mark, but in spite of that, he made sure he lived up to the talent and potential Fernandez saw in him.
It’s unfortunate we will never see Fernandez donning pinstripes, but the upside is part of Fernandez’s prediction came true; Stanton was traded to the Yankees in exchange for Starlin Castro as part of a Marlins fire sale over the winter.
While Stanton won’t physically have Fernandez alongside him, he will have Judge, who are both poised to do big things in 2018. After the Yankees were one game shy of a World Series appearance in 2017, their hope is that Stanton can finally bring them to the Fall Classic where they’d subsequently win their 28th World Series championship.