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Giancarlo Stanton’s All-Star Game MVP award is a ‘full circle’ moment for Yankees’ slugger

LOS ANGELES ― New York Yankees slugger Giancarlo Stanton, who grew up attending games at Dodger Stadium and starring for Notre Dame High School in Sherman Oaks, was named the Most Valuable Player of the 2022 MLB All-Star Game.

The American League was trailing the National League by two runs when Dodgers pitcher Tony Gonsolin allowed home runs to Stanton and Byron Buxton in consecutive at-bats in the fourth inning. Neither team scored again and the AL won, 3-2.

Stanton’s two-run home run – a 457-foot blast to left field, per Statcast – came two batters after Cleveland Guardians third baseman Jose Ramirez led off the fourth inning with a single.

“Can’t really explain how special this is,” Stanton said. “It’s hard to put into words that this is reality right now. It’s really cool. I’m soaking it all in.”

Stanton was voted to start the All-Star Game after slugging 24 home runs and driving in 61 for the Yankees in the first half. American League manager Dusty Baker penciled him into the No. 5 slot in the batting order. In his first at-bat, Stanton struck out on three pitches against Miami Marlins pitcher Sandy Alcantara to begin the second inning.

In his only other plate appearance of the night, Stanton fell behind Gonsolin 0-and-2 before pummeling the third pitch into the left field bleachers – a place, he said, he often watched games as a youth.

“Full circle,” he said. “I always tried to get a ball thrown to me from whoever was playing left field when I was a kid. Just to be out there is so fun, so cool.”

Stanton was presented the MVP trophy by Billie Jean King, the Dodgers co-owner, philanthropist and tennis great.

Baker relished the opportunity to manage Stanton for a night, rather than manage against him.

“I just regret that we have to play him in a doubleheader on Thursday,” Baker said.

Gonsolin was no slouch. He was 11-0 in the regular season before taking the loss in the All-Star Game.

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