The only player in franchise history to win National League MVP, Giancarlo Stanton is arguably the greatest Florida/Miami Marlin of all-time. The 2017 MVP, Stanton leads the Marlins all-time in home runs, slugging percentage, wins above replacement, RBIs and extra-base hits.
It didn’t take long for the team to realize they had something special. Stanton collected three hits in his Major League Baseball debut on this day 10 years ago.
The Florida Marlins were 28-30 as they made their way to Citizens Bank Park to face the Philadelphia Phillies on June 8, 2010. The contest turned out to be a heartbreaker for the Marlins as they blew multiple leads in a 10-8 loss, but Stanton created optimism for a bright future.
After a first-inning home run by Gaby Sánchez gave Florida a 1-0 lead, Stanton made his first plate appearance in the top of the second and reached on an infield single with two outs. Stanton would come around to score his first big-league run on a double by catcher Ronny Paulino. The Marlins’ lead would double to 4-0 in the top of the third on a two-run homer by Hanley Ramírez.
Philadelphia first baseman Ryan Howard cut the lead in half with a two-run home run during a three-run third for the Phillies.
With the score now 4-3, Stanton came to the plate with a runner on and no one out in the top of the fourth. Stanton’s second at-bat was not as productive as he was struck out swinging by Philadelphia starter Kyle Kendrick on just three pitches. The Marlins were still able to push two runs across in the inning, thanks a two-run single by Chris Coghlan.
With a Shane Victorino home run in the fourth and a pair of runs in the fifth, the contest was tied at six when Stanton came to the plate to lead off the top of the sixth. Stanton worked the count full before flying out to right field.
The contest would again be tied when Stanton led off the Florida eighth. After the Phillies took the lead in the sixth, the Marlins drew even on an RBI double in the top of the seventh. Stanton helped Florida retake with a lead-off single to right. Two batters later, he would score his second run of the night to give the Marlins an 8-7 lead on a pinch-hit triple by Wes Helms.
Unfortunately for Florida, that lead would not hold. The Phillies pushed three runs across in the bottom of the eighth with a two-run single from Ben Francisco and an RBI single by Wilson Valdez.
Down 10-8 in the ninth inning, Stanton came to bat for the fifth time and in a high-pressure situation. With two runners on and two outs, Stanton came through, legging out another infield single to load the bases and keep the Marlins’ hopes alive. Paulino would pop out against Phillies closer Brad Lidge to end the contest.
As for Stanton, his debut was a glowing success. Then known as Mike Stanton, the rookie finished the night 3-for-5 with a pair of runs scored.
Now entering his 11th season in the majors, Stanton has more than 300 career home runs, four All-Star Game selections, a Home Run Derby crown and an MVP to his name. His first appearance in the big leagues came in a right field start on this day one decade ago.