Stanton Eyes History (MLB Column)

Benjamin Clanin, 23 Sports

Standing in the batter’s box at an intimidating 6 feet 6 inches, weighing in at a staggering 246 pounds, and averaging 32.5 home runs per season, Giancarlo Stanton is the epitome of a Major League power hitter.  Stanton is launching baseballs out of the park at a historic pace in 2017, and as of September 4 Stanton has hit a league leading 53 home runs, and is on pace to break Roger Maris’ “untainted” home run record of 61.

In the record books of major league baseball the home run record is 73, set by Barry Bonds in the 2001 MLB season. In many people’s opinions, however, that number will forever have an asterisk next to it, due to the fact that Bonds had knowingly and willingly taken performance enhancing drugs to help him beat the already controversial record set by Mark McGwire (70) and Sammy Sosa (66) in 1998. To baseball purists the records set by Bonds, McGwire, and Sosa are not even acknowledged.  They instead say the record was set by Roger Maris in 1961 when he hit 61 home runs without the help of steroids.

Giancarlo Stanton just so happens to be one of those baseball purists who believes that the all time homerun record is 61, and in his monster 2017 season he is right on pace to break it. Prior to the All-Star break, Staton was sitting at 26 home runs, which was four homers behind the league leader and rookie sensation Aaron Judge who had 30. After the break, though, Stanton has hit one of the hottest streaks of his career, slugging 18 home runs in the month of August alone and claiming the top of the league leaderboards. Since the All Star break Stanton has hit an astounding 26 home runs, which is tied to his total in the first three and a half months of the season. Stanton also hit a home run in six consecutive games in the middle of August, which was only two shy of the all time consecutive games with a home run record, set by the Miami Marlins manager Don Mattingly.

Giancarlo Stanton has been known his entire career for hitting home runs. But in the past couple of years Stanton was unable to remain healthy, including playing just 74 games in 2105, and missed the last two and a half months of the season last year after injuring his groin in August. Stanton signed record breaking contract of $325 million prior to the 2015 season, a contract that Miami fans have seen the as a bust over the past two seasons. However, a healthy Stanton has proved to be worth every penny, as he has helped push this years Marlin’s team back into the playoff conversation.

Giancarlo Stanton has proved year in and year out that he is one of the purest and most talented hitters in the Major Leagues, but can he keep up his red hot pace to break the untainted record of Roger Maris? Only time will tell.