Thu May 05 02:03pm EDT
And that was even before the Florida Marlins' super sophomore hit a critical home run in the top of the ninth inning in the Marlins' 8-7 win over the St. Louis Cardinals or was the subject of high praise from Cardinals' hitting coach Mark McGwire.
In the top of the fifth inning, Stanton left his position in right field to chase a high fly ball from Allen Craig(notes). Because he had a great deal of territory to cover, Stanton was running at a high rate of speed and the momentum caused him to flip over the short wall just as the ball glanced off of his glove. The baseball world held its breath for a moment as Stanton fell face-first to Busch Stadium's concrete floor and disappeared from view.
But no worries. With the help of the shocked Cardinals fans around him, Stanton rose to his feet and climbed back onto the field without injury. The fans applauded as he returned to right field.
After the game, Stanton seemed more concerned with the damage he might have done to the fan instead of the danger that faced him as he tried his hardest to get the out.
"I knocked someone's beer out of their hands, so I owe someone a beer," Stanton joked. "I got my hands down [blocking his fall]. It was way too fast. Once I saw the ball right there, I had a beer in my face and I was getting up."
Of course, it's a good thing this play happened this year as Stanton only turned 21 last November and wouldn't have been able to replace the beer by himself.
But the actual truth is that Stanton needn't have worried about going back to the clubhouse for his wallet. An alternate angle from the St. Louis cameras shows that the fan in question was able to hang onto his Bud bottle as Stanton was bearing down.
All of which, of course, raises the question: Was the Busch Stadium ovation intended for the visiting player who almost made the play of the day? Or for the fellow fan who did?