Photograph Credit score: Steven Kovich
Images: Steven Kovich
Styling: Valerie Romas
Grooming: Toni Jo Peruzzi
Shot on location on the Tampa residence of Jennifer and Randy Zales – by way of Haute Residence
It’s January 2018, and Giancarlo Stanton is stylishly suited up and singing together with Alicia Keys, who’s performing “Empire State of Mind” at Clive Davis’ pre-Grammy social gathering. “Now you’re in New York—these streets will make you feel brand-new, big lights will inspire you,” he mouths, his lips stretching right into a Cheshire-like grin. It is just one month after the announcement that after eight years with the Miami Marlins, Stanton had been acquired by the New York Yankees… and he is undoubtedly in an Empire Mind-set.
However let’s flash-forward a yr. As the 29-year-old MLB energy hitter prepares to start out his second season as a Yankee, have all of his goals been made a reality within the concrete jungle? Is he, as his enigmatic Instagram page suggests, “Living a Lucid Dream”?
The answer, briefly, is sure. “I’m very happy,” he tells us from spring training in Tampa. “The Yankees have been great so far; everything I could have imagined and more. It’s been a first-class experience in every way.”
He’s definitely scored some main milestones together with his new group: He hit two house runs throughout his debut recreation on March 29, together with his first at-bat, turning into the primary Yankee since Joe Pepitone to have a multi-home run recreation on Opening Day since 1963. He made historical past once once more on August 30 by hitting his 300th house run (his 33rd of the season), turning into the 147th player—and the ninth-youngest—in MLB historical past to do so, becoming a member of an elite roster that includes Alex Rodriguez, Ken Griffey Jr. and Mickey Mantle. Solely 4 gamers in historical past (including Rodriguez) hit that milestone quicker.
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Photograph Credit score: Steven Kovich
Such prowess on the diamond comes at a worth, though: Stanton hasn’t had the time to take pleasure in or discover his new hometown, which signifies that The City That Never Sleeps continues to be a virtual thriller.
“It’s hard during the season―we pretty much don’t have any days off. I’m trying to learn the city, but I still have a lot to see. I wasn’t there at all during the off-season, so I’m starting from scratch,” he laments. “I’m definitely not [a New Yorker] yet.”
With solely three or 4 days of full freedom a month, typically enjoying 10-20 video games straight, the last thing he needs to do is stumble around the city enjoying vacationer for five hours straight. He wants to save lots of his power for games, and taking the subway? Overlook about it. However with a yr in Manhattan underneath his belt, no less than the town is not a totally overseas place.
“’This is my new home; this is pretty cool’—that’s how it was for me most of last year,” he says. “I now know where I’m at and what part of the city I need to be in. I feel like I have a better grasp on it this time around.”
For starters, he now knows that his Battery Park pad is at the complete opposite end of the town from Yankee Stadium, and as a lot as he loves the world—he would typically stroll across the park by himself at night time after a recreation to clear his head—a transfer to the Bronx or thereabouts is just not imminent. He’s additionally been storing up ideas from his teammates, together with hitting Chelsea Market to seek out the perfect, authentic Mexican meals within the metropolis (as a local Angeleno, he’s very specific).
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Photograph Credit: Steven Kovich
If there’s one thing he’s really wanting ahead to, it’s New York Trend Week. Fellow athletes like Cam Newton, Victor Cruz and his pal Odell Beckham Jr. all hit up the Fall/Winter 2019 exhibits, and likelihood is, Stanton—who favors brands like Louis Vuitton, Dior, Givenchy and Gucci—shall be right there with them sitting entrance row come September. “I do enjoy that stuff, so I think you will [see me there], actually,” he laughs.
A number of sartorially sensational exhibits shall be a welcome stability to his principally low-key in-season existence: He freely admits that the majority of his nights so far have been spent on the couch, binge-watching Recreation of Thrones along with intermittent viewings of Animal Planet, Planet Earth and anything on the Nationwide Geographic channel (by the way, he loves nature so much that if he wasn’t enjoying ball, he’d need to be a journey blogger with a concentrate on Mother Earth. He’s obtained other issues to consider in the intervening time although, so critically, don’t watch this area). However don’t assume for a second that each one work and no play have made Giancarlo a uninteresting boy. He’s dipped a toe into the town’s epic culinary scene at eating places like Mastro’s, Vandal and Catch, has had nights out with A-listers like Michael B. Jordan and Donald Glover, and has been hanging out with teammates CC Sabathia, Aaron Decide, Brett Gardner and Aaron Hicks on the reg. Though he’s too disciplined for wild nights (that we all know of), he’s out there when he can, soaking up the unique power that only New York really has.
“People say, ‘Don’t you have fun here and there,’ but we really don’t have time to do that,” he notes. “We have day games sometimes, but usually it’s for one of the teams to leave to get to the next city. It’s not very often that you’re at home and have a free night. When you do, that’s when you try to find a good place to have dinner, and that’s about it.”
As a result of he’s so regimented and disciplined from March by means of October, in the course of the off-season he’s nicely and really off, embarking on fabulous, globe-hopping adventures, including Jerusalem, the Lifeless Sea and—his private favorite—Egypt. Most of the time, nevertheless, he heads residence to L.A.
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Photograph Credit score: Steven Kovich
He grew up as “Mike” (Cruz and Michael are his center names—“Back in the day, no one could pronounce ‘Giancarlo’ so I said, ‘Just call me Mike,’ I’m sick of no one being able to say my name.”) in Tujunga, Calif., the place he attended high school for two years before transferring to Notre Dame High Faculty in Sherman Oaks, Calif. There he was a three-sport athlete: He was his basketball staff’s prime scorer in addition to a superb football participant, so much in order that College of California, Los Angeles and the University of Nevada, Las Vegas provided him scholarships to play with pigskin.
However baseball was his passion, and so he went together with his intestine. “I’d say that when I first realized being a professional [baseball player] was a possibility was in 10th grade,” he recollects, adding, “Everything since then has been in the making to where I am now.”
As such, it’s only fitting that his high school should make him a corridor of fame inductee, an honor he acquired this past January. Although he’s now generally known as “G” or “GC,” back within the day his associates referred to him as “Scantron” (after the Scantron check), a name that’s doubtless in use by his nearest and dearest at this time.
“In L.A., I have a very big high school friend group. We get together even now, 10-plus years later, and just hang out and enjoy talking about the high school times, as well as where we’re all at now,” he says. “When [I was inducted into my high school’s hall of fame], we got together and talked about old times.”
If his good friend group was talking concerning the previous, they could keep in mind that he’s since grown two inches from his then-6’four” body, added 50 pounds of muscle and turned down a full scholarship to the College of Southern California to play each baseball and football, opting to sign with the Florida Marlins as an alternative when he was selected in the 2007 novice draft.
His high school buddies would also keep in mind that he performed for three minor league teams—the Gulf Coast League Marlins of the Rookie-Degree Gulf Coast League, the Class A Brief-Season New York-Penn League with the Jamestown Jammers and the Greensboro Grasshoppers of the Class A South Atlantic League—before hitting the large time with an invite to the 2009 Miami Marlins Spring Coaching camp. He made his Main League Baseball debut with the Marlins in 2010, signing a then-record-breaking $325 million, 13-year contract with the staff, earlier than being traded to the Yankees in 2017.
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Photograph Credit score: Steven Kovich
So, as he approaches his 30th birthday in November, there’s little question that Giancarlo Stanton has made it… and that he has the type of profession legends are product of. The number of accolades and trophies to his identify are superb: He’s a four-time All-Star, a two-time Silver Slugger and Hank Aaron Award winner, a two-time NL House Run Chief and an NL RBI leader. In 2017, he had a historic 59 residence run season that resulted in being named the Nationwide League’s Most Beneficial Player.
An award he doesn’t have is a World Collection trophy, which is why his single-minded focus is acquiring one. It’s why he’s OK with having a principally quiet life, and why he hasn’t taken benefit of the glittering, glitzy life that’s at his disposal in New York.
“I honestly haven’t been close to winning [a World Series], so that’s the main focus,” he confirms, noting that profitable at that degree would mean every part to him. “Being a champion means you’re on top of the world. Everything you’ve worked towards for your life, really. You can say it doesn’t consume you, but the majority of the time we’re awake—for more than two-thirds of the year—is dedicated to trying to be a champion.”
The virtual (and typically literal) blood, sweat and tears typically go unseen, however are all the time present. Despite the rigorously curated image he portrays on social media of a enjoyable, trendy and adventure-seeking athlete—which he is—there are additionally countless hours of exhausting work and dedication that go into being an athlete, which don’t present up on his ‘gram.
“Being here already isn’t easy, so being a champion is the next level above it all,” he notes. “I mean, being a professional athlete is not easy, or a lot more people would be doing it. People kind of forget that. They say, ‘You’ve been here for years, you should be accustomed to it.’ But some forget the work it takes to stay here, rather than just seeing us at game time.”
And this season, Stanton plans on working more durable than ever. He’s acquired a “go big or stay home” mentality and thinks 2019 could possibly be the yr the Yankees win the World Collection for a 28th time (the last win being a decade in the past in 2009). “We’ve got all the pieces to the puzzle already; we had it last year, too,” he says. “We know what we have to do and the talent that we have. We’re putting it together out there and showing up when it’s time.”
He’s the grasp of understatement, and he is aware of it, but typically the player has to play it off, you recognize? And typically, he’s received to keep it real—like now. “I’m motivated by the situation that I’ve made for myself—or that I’ve been given, however you want to take it. I feel like where I am now is years and years in the making, and if I don’t stay focused or where I need to be, that can be all unraveled. I know it’s not going to be here forever. I understand there are other things I need to do eventually and other hobbies I need to pick up, but right now I’m in the best situation that I possibly can be, and I’ve worked very hard to get here. It’s a work in the making.”
It helps that his glass is half full; if it have been half empty, he wouldn’t be where he’s in the present day. “I make light of tough situations, and I’m always trying to look for the positives of a situation,” he says. “You have bad days and great days, and either way there’s going to be another game the next night.”
It doesn’t matter what, the present should go on. Giancarlo Stanton knows this, as certainly as he knows methods to take the most important attainable chew out of the Massive Apple. “By winning, you’ve got to win,” he says. “I think if we bring a championship to the Big Apple, that’s a big enough bite.”