Millions watched as Giancarlo Stanton lay sprawled out across home plate after getting hit by a pitch in the fifth inning of the Miami Marlins versus Milwaukee Brewers game. The pitch had nailed Stanton in the face, and things weren’t looking good.
With the pitch coming in at 88 mph, the damage was just as bad as it looked. Stanton had suffered multiple fractures in his face as well as facial lacerations that would require stitches.
Despite the setbacks that the injury brought for Stanton’s career, they say that when one door closes another one opens. Stanton was no exception. While the injury ended his baseball season, it began a new season in his life. The injury birthed a passion for giving back and started a new chapter in Stanton’s life as a man dedicated to helping others.
After experiencing firsthand the challenges and stresses that receiving dental care can be, Stanton partnered with Spodak Dental Group, which is a dental office in South Florida. Through the partnership, Stanton and Spodak Dental Group helped elementary students in South Florida receive free dental care throughout the school year.
So why Spodak Dental Group? It is the office where Stanton was treated for his dental needs after that infamous day in September. For anyone to go into a medical office and actually enjoy their experience is a rare occurrence in itself, so Stanton’s affinity for Dr. Craig Spodak and Spodak Dental Group has been unique from day one. He fell in love with the culture at Spodak Dental Group. Pretty soon, he wanted a partnership.
The partnership then got a name: All-Star Smiles. The ultimate goal of All-Star smiles is to fight tooth decay among children in underserved communities. However, not only does the organization aim to help children, but Stanton and the staff at Spodak Dental Group have a goal of making each child’s dental experience as fun and comfortable as possible.
Just like Stanton’s career, the organization and its influence have grown tremendously since 2014. This is in part to Dr. Spodak’s vision of networking across the country and getting other dental offices involved.
130+ kids arriving to Spodak Dental in Delray for free dental care. Part of Miami Marlins Giancarlo Stanton's "All Star Smiles Foundation" pic.twitter.com/pekX2NZUIX
While it is incredibly common to see athletes start different charities and organizations, the unique part about All-Star Smiles is the personal connection that Stanton has with the organization. His season-ending injury birthed an idea that has now served hundreds of children in the United States.
However, the organization also fills in a space that is oftentimes overlooked amongst other nonprofit organizations. Transformational dentistry provides services that help people transform and improve their smiles, a service that Stanton himself has benefited from firsthand. Underserved children have the opportunity to get teeth extractions and other services to improve the overall look and feel of their teeth.
Ultimately, it’s not every day that you see an athlete turn a gruesome injury into a positive that actually ends up helping children around the country. Despite the losses in his personal career after the fateful game against the Brewers, the gains have been much greater.
Giancarlo Stanton and Aaron Judge are the keys to the Yankees entertaining any playoff hopes.
After losing 13 of their previous 18 games, the Yankees are 7-2 in their last 9, and have won three consecutive series; knocking off Toronto, Oakland, and with their 8-1 win on Thursday, the Kansas City Royals.
For New York, it’s the team’s most successful run since the Yankees won seven straight series from April 30 through May 23, going 17-5. At that point, New York was 11 games over .500 and just a half-game out of first place in the American League East.
This most recent stretch of success has brought the Yankees into a range of the leaders in the race for both the division and the Wild Card; trailing Boston by four and fellow division rival Tampa Bay by 3.5 games respectively.
Steering the Yankees back into the right direction has been the team’s towering titans. Over this nine-game run, they’ve hit a combined .292, with two home runs, eight RBI, nine runs scored, and sixteen walks.
They’ve been even better over their last six games.
Both bashers are hitting .333, with Judge leading the team in hits (8) and runs scored (6), and Stanton setting the pace with eight walks. Stanton’s 28 walks this season are more than his total of 27 over the past two seasons.
What’s been even more important is that they’ve been able to be productive without generating a lot of power.
The duo has combined for only two home runs and two doubles during these nine games, and yet they’ve still managed to account for nearly 20 percent of the Yankees’ runs and RBI.
Thursday, Judge went 3-3, scoring three runs, with two RBI, two walks, and he hit his 16th homer of the season. It was his first three-hit game since May 1. New York improved to 10-3 when he goes yard. It’s been documented just how important his power is to the Yankees offense, and if it’s returning, that’s a fantastic sign for his team.
Aaron Judge breaks out of a little slump to put the Yankees ahead 1-0 in the first inning with a home run! pic.twitter.com/lCSJYKBwyH
“[I’m] feeling good,” Judge said to reporters after the game. “Making a couple of adjustments to get my body in a better position to swing. I’ve kind of been feeling like I’ve been swinging underwater. But I was seeing the ball well.”
When Judge is seeing the ball well, it’s usually flying off of his bat. That was the case against KC. His RBI single in the second inning was moving at a cool 109.3 miles per hour.
Stanton was 3-5, and his single in the eighth inning drove in Judge, helping him stay one behind number 99 for the team’s RBI lead.
The Yankees placed MLBbro Giancarlo Stanton on their 10-day injured list due to a left quad strain, the team announced prior to Monday’s series opener against the Texas Rangers.
Right-hander Albert Abreu will fill Stanton’s spot on the roster for the time being.
The 31-year-old slugger has battled the injury bug his entire career. Stanton has now been on the IL/DL eight times since entering the major leagues in 2010 and was sidelined for all but 41 games over the past two seasons due to a string of injuries.
The Yankees now have several inactive players. Stanton joins teammates Gleyber Torres (COVID-19), Rougned Odor (knee), Aaron Hicks (wrist), Zach Britton (elbow), Darren O’Day (shoulder), Clarke Schmidt (elbow), and others on the sidelines.
Prior to being scratched from the lineup Friday night against the Baltimore Orioles due to left quad tightness, Stanton had been healthy and having an incredible season.
Through the first 33 games, Stanton batted .282/.347/.534 with nine home runs and 24 RBIs. He caught fire in late April with a 12-game hitting streak that included six home runs and a .480 BA.
Yankees’ manager Aaron Boone told Sports Illustrated he is targeting a May 25 return date for Stanton. Boone added that no tests have been done on the slugger’s injury, but that an MRI is under consideration.
With three DH’s currently inactive, Boone said they will need to “get a little creative” for Monday night’s game.