Miami Marlins slugger Giancarlo Stanton went to see the world during the offseason to find new perspective. Now almost six months following the tragic death of his teammate Jose Fernandez, the slugger admits he is looking at baseball differently.
He knows now is the best time of his life and he must enjoy. How he reached that point was part of his journey around the world.
He visited Barcelona, beaches in Brazil, the pyramids of Egypt and bakeries of Paris. Across three continents, he visited eight countries last fall.
After spending the final week of the 2016 baseball season attempting to mourn the loss of Fernandez and play all at the same time, the cameras never stopped, and sleep became difficult so shortly after the end of the season, he took off for Brazil with two close friends A.J. Ramos a closer with Miami and Ricky Nolasco a former teammate.
For a month and a half they traveled to Brazil, Spain, the Netherlands, France, Romania, Egypt, Israel and Dubai.
They thought often of Fernandez but were determined not to let sadness consume them.
In Brazil, an artist painted a mural in honor of Fernandez in Rio de Janeiro. The mural has the nickname Stanton gave Fernandez, “Niño” and Saudades, a Portuguese expression that does not have any specific meaning but it expresses love, affection and caring all in one word.
Stanton’s Major League Baseball career of seven years has been full of injuries, ups and downs and the richest ever baseball contract in the history of the sport at $325 million over 13 years.
He hits home runs that make him seem superhuman and falls into batting slumps that remind him and his fans that he really is human.
He owns a home run title, but has gone into long slumps including 7 hits in 67 at bats that included 32 strikeouts.
However, through his ups and downs, home runs and strikeouts, the person Stanton is never changes. He remains the same with his family, friends, teammates and others regardless of how he plays on the field, said Joel Wolfe his agent.
Stanton is playing for Team USA in the World Baseball Classic and then will return to spring training with the rest of his Marlins teammates.
He hopes this season will turn out better than last and realizes that there is far more to his life than just home runs, runs batted in and wins and losses.