Childhood & Early Life
Giancarlo Cruz Michael Stanton was born on November 8, 1989, in Panorama City, California to Michael Stanton, a former postal worker, and Jacinta Garay. He is youngest of three children with elder brother Egidio Carlos Moacir Garay Stanton, and sister, Kyrice Valivia. He is of mixed African-American, Irish and Puerto Rican ancestry. His parents divorced when he was 8, and was raised by his mother in Tujunga, Los Angeles.
[During his school days his first name created confusions, so he made it simple ‘Mike.’ Once he became a known personality, Stanton announced that he preferred his given name.]
Stanton studied at the ‘Verdugo Hills High School’ in Tujunga, California. He played for his school team, ‘Verdugo Hills Dons,’ but had academic issues. His parents, who were going through divorce at the time, enrolled him in private school, ‘Notre Dame High School,’ in Sherman Oaks. Here, he became a three-sport player.
Stanton played basketball, and also played as wide receiver and cornerback for gridiron football. Initially playing in the lower half order of school baseball team, in his junior year he played in the ‘Area Code games’ (All-Star baseball tournament in California). He was spotted by a talent scout who became instrumental in his selection in professional league. UCLA, UNLV, USC offered him football scholarships; instead he opted for a baseball scholarship at Tulane.
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In the ‘2007 Amateur Draft,’ Stanton was selected by the ‘Miami Marlins’ in the second round, 76th overall pick. He began playing rookie-level minor league affiliate of ‘Marlins,’ ‘The Gulf Coast League Marlins.’ Next, he progressed to the ‘Class A-Short Season New York-Penn League’s ‘Jamestown Jammers.’ He continued advancing through Class A-South Atlantic League’s ‘Greensboro Grasshoppers,’ then Class A-Advanced Florida State League’s ‘Jupiter Hammerheads,’ then ‘Jacksonville Suns’ of the Class AA-Southern League. Stanton made to the ‘All-Star Futures Game,’ and was considered the #1 prospect in Florida Marlins (also known as Miami Marlins).
During the 2010 season, Stanton’s home run against ‘Montgomery Biscuits’ on May 6, went over the scoreboard and reached over 500 feet from home plate. In June 2010, he was called for the ‘Florida Marlin’s major league. He was third youngest player (20years and 212 days) to make his major league debut with Marlins. Ten days after his debut, he hit a grand slam against ‘Tampa Bay Rays’ to chart a win for his team. He was the fourth player (in past 25 years) to score first career grand slam before completing 21.
His rookie season record was an average distance of 399.6 feet for home runs at an average speed of 104.3 MPH. Stanton got selected as outfielder for Baseball America’s ‘2010 All-Rookie Team’ and ‘2010 Topps Major League Rookie All-Star Team.’
During the 2011 season, Stanton was troubled with leg and eye problems. He completed the season with 34 home runs, with average home run distance being 416 feet (several were between 450-475 feet). Batting average was .262, with 87 RBI. He ranked 23rd for the National League MVP.
During the 2012 season, Stanton hit a grand slam on May 21, which hit and broke the leftfield scoreboard. He was named in the ‘2012 MLB All-Star Game’ and ‘Home Run Derby.’ But he had trouble with right knee bones and had to undergo a knee surgery. Thus, he missed the two events as he was put on 15 days disabled list.
He hit the longest home run in MLB (since 2009), at 494 feet on August 17, 2012. He recorded career-high 37 home runs, batting average .290, and led in slugging percentage (.608) in all MLB.
In 2013 season, Stanton suffered grade 2 hamstring injury and couldn’t play for 6 weeks. Though he hit his career’s 99th and 100th home runs in this season, the time lost due to injury reflected in his scores, which were 24 home runs, .249 average, and 62 RBI.
In April 2014, Stanton hit a walk-off grand slam (against Seattle Mariners). He also scored his career’s 154th home run with the ‘Marlins.’ A hit in the face (on September 11) resulted in multiple facial fractures and dental injury. So he couldn’t play for the last 2 weeks of the season. With the score of 37 home runs, batting average .288 and 105 RBI, he was voted second in MVP.
On November 17, 2014, Stanton signed the team-sport history’s largest contract of $325 million for 13 years with the ‘Marlins.’ In the 2015 season, he made a ‘Marlins’ record with 155 home runs, and also set records with longest home runs. However, on June 26 his left wrist hamate bone broke, preventing him from playing the end part of the season.
In 2016, Stanton was not named for MLB All-Star game, but played for National League in ‘2016 Home Run Derby,’ wining it with 61 home runs. He set many records including most home runs in a Derby, longest home run of the season. He lost out on season ending games as he suffered grade 2 hamstring strain.
In 2017 season, he was selected for the fourth time to the NL ‘All-Star Game,’ where he led with 26 home runs. In this season he set several records including single-season record for most home runs (59), most career home runs (267), RBIs (672), strikeouts (1,140), and others. He received his second ‘Hank Aaron Award,’ and was named NL’s ‘Most Valuable Player.’ In December 2017, Stanton was traded to the ‘New York Yankees.’
He recorded his 1000th hit on May 15, 2018, and his 300th home run on August 30. His season’s scores were 38 home runs, 100 RBI and batting average of .266. With left bicep strain and knee injury, he spent most of the 2019 season on the injured list.