Giancarlo Stanton is a National (League) hero…
The 28-year-old part-Puerto Rican baseball star, an outfielder for the Miami Marlins, won the National League MVP title, edging Joey Votto of the Cincinnati Reds in the closest vote since 1979.
Stanton became only the sixth player to win from a losing team. The Marlins were 77-85.
“I’m so thankful it happened and I’m going to enjoy this and work to get better,” Stanton said on ESPN’s SportsCenter.
Stanton finished the season batting .281 with 168 hits, 59 HRs and 132 RBIs. His homer total was the most in the majors since 2001, when Barry Bonds hit a record 73 and Sammy Sosa had 64.
Stanton got 10 first-place votes and 302 points in balloting by members of the Baseball Writers’ Association of America. Votto also got 10 firsts and had 300 points.
“Just so close,” Votto said, according to MLB.com, after learning the outcome. “[I’m] really, really grateful for the support. I cannot believe how close it was. I just can’t believe coming up two points short. It’s so cool in a way coming up that short. Most of the time it’s a landslide or it’s clear. This wasn’t that. That was one of the entertaining aspects of it. Because Giancarlo and I did things so differently and because we’re both on losing clubs, it was for me a very interesting vote.”
“I don’t feel terribly disappointed, not really because I think that it was just two very, very good seasons that went head-to-head,” Votto said.
Stanton is the first player in Marlins history to win an MVP award.
He led the majors in home runs, RBI, extra-base hits and slugging percentage, each of which set a Marlins single-season record, according to ESPN Stats & Information.
Votto topped the majors with a .454 on-base percentage. Arizona first baseman Paul Goldschmidt was third in the voting.
The last player from a losing team to win an MVP was Alex Rodriguez, who took the AL award in 2003 with Texas. The last NL MVP from a losing team was Andre Dawson with the 1987 Chicago Cubs.
Stanton joins Dan Marino and LeBron James as the only Miami pro athletes in a major sport to win MVP.
“That’s definitely good company,” Stanton said.