MIAMI -- Giancarlo Stanton fully soaked up the moment Tuesday night as he stepped into the right-handed batter's box at Marlins Park for the first time since he was traded from the Miami Marlins last December.
Before digging into the box in the top of the first, the current New York Yankees right fielder/designated hitter paused, turned around to a loud, adoring crowd and waved as he pounded his chest to let the fans -- many of them Yankees fans -- know he heard their standing ovation.
After taking a first-pitch strike from Marlins starter Pablo Lopez, Stanton rapped a hard 2-2 single to left field for his first hit in the ballpark wearing a visiting uniform. With a 117.3 mph exit velocity, it was the latest in a string of similarly hard-hit balls he has had throughout his career.
A nine-year major league vet, Stanton had previously spent every one of his big league seasons with the Marlins before the Yankees acquired him in the offseason.
"It feels weird, for sure. Especially turning right instead of left to go to the visitor's side," Stanton said before the game. "But yeah, I'm going to enjoy this experience. This place was a big part of my life. And so I'm just going to enjoy it out there."
Stanton entered the game with seven home runs in his previous 13 games. He also came in with 299 career home runs. Of them, 267 were hit while he played for Miami.
"It'll be really cool to [hit No. 300] in this park, for sure," Stanton said.
He also entered batting .285 with 32 home runs and 80 RBI this season.