For more than two decades, Gary Sheffield’s 42 home runs in 1996 stood as the most in Florida/Miami Marlins history. In 2017, Giancarlo Stanton obliterated that total.
Stanton blasted a franchise record 59 home runs that season. His final two long balls came on this day five years ago in a 7-1 win over the Atlanta Braves.
The Miami Marlins and Braves were opening a four-game set as they met at Marlins Park on Sept. 28, 2017. Miami seized control of the contest, but Stanton didn’t make his presence felt until the fourth.
With Miami leading 4-0 in the fourth inning, Stanton came to the plate for the third time. He needed just one pitch to increase the lead. On a breaking pitch from Atlanta starter Julio Teheran, Stanton blasted a no-doubter into left-center field—his 58th home run of the season—to extend the lead to 5-0.
After singling to lead off the seventh, Stanton came to bat with one on and two outs in the eighth with Miami leading 5-1. On the first pitch he saw from Atlanta’s Rex Brothers, Stanton again left the yard in a hurry as his 59th home run of the season nearly hit the glass windows deep behind the left-field stands. The blast capped the scoring as Kyle Barraclough worked a scoreless ninth.
After popping up in his first at-bat, Stanton was at the plate when the Marlins scored the game’s first run. A wild pitch from Teheran allowed Dee Strange-Gordon to score to make it 1-0. Stanton and Christian Yelich followed with walks and came around to score on a two-run single from Justin Bour. Derek Dietrich’s sacrifice fly pushed the lead to 4-0.
The Braves got their only run in the seventh on a solo home run from Lane Adams. Dillon Peters worked 5 2⁄3 shutout innings for Miami to earn the win, allowing just two hits and four walks. Stanton finished 3-for-4 with the two blasts, three runs scored and three RBIs.
Stanton would get 14 more at-bats over Miami’s final three games but was unable to hit a 60th home run. Still, the 59 home runs served as the 10th-most in Major League Baseball history and the most in Marlins history.
Stanton would go on to be the first Miami player ever to earn National League MVP honors. His final blasts from that memorable campaign—and as a member of the Marlins—came on this day five years ago.