Reporting Tim Kephart
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MIAMI (CBSMiami) – The last time the Miami Marlins had to deal with a player with the wrong name, the team lost a closing pitcher for part of the season.
Luckily for the Marlins, this time around the player who will be called by a different name is doing it voluntarily. Slugger Mike Stanton told the media Wednesday that he actually prefers to be called his given name, Giancarlo.
“I respond to many names,” Stanton said. “It’s all good.”
His given name is actually Giancarlo Cruz Michael Stanton. His heritage is Hispanic, but his parents just liked the Italian sounding name.
His mother calls him Cruz, his teammates call him Bigfoot, his father calls him Mike, but Giancarlo is how he’s identified on the roster and what’s on his paycheck.
What most Marlins fans are hoping is that Giancarlo can continue to develop his hitting to go along with his monster home run numbers. He has 56 home runs to date and only Ken Griffey, Jr. and Alex Rodriguez have hit at least that many before their 22nd birthday. Stanton turned 22 in November.
Stanton stands 6’5” and weighs in the neighborhood of 250 pounds, which is where the nickname Bigfoot came from. His batting practice swings generate oohs and ahhs from the crowd and even draw an audience of opposing players.
In 2011, Stanton hit 34 home runs in what was his first full season in the majors. Still, he only hit .262 overall, but pounded in 87 RBIs on the season.
But with the Marlins changing their name and moving into a new ballpark, Stanton just felt like the time was right to let everyone know his real name. His teammates have taken to Giancarlo lately, but not without having a little bit of fun.
“I told him he needs to have longer hair,” catcher John Buck said. “When I think of Giancarlo, I think of someone with long, flowing hair, like Fabio. But if he keeps hitting homers, I’ll him whatever he wants me to call him.”
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