This has been the year for Southern California high school products thrusting themselves into the national sports spotlight, and Giancarlo Stanton of the Miami Marlins is ready for his moment in tonight's home run derby.
He's going to hit so many home runs that the ESPN commentators will start comparing him to Willie Stargell and Dave Winfield.
Let me just begin the conversation by saying Stanton is the best high school athlete I've seen from Southern California in the last 40 years. He played football, basketball and baseball at Sherman Oaks Notre Dame, and was terrific in each sport. Everyone predicted once he focused on a single sport, he'd become an All-Star, and that has happened.
And if he wins the home run derby, as I expect, he will be the latest SoCal standout to gain national attention.
In the Super Bowl, it was Malcolm Smith from Woodland Hills Taft earning MVP honors for the Seattle Seahawks.
In the NBA Finals, it was Kawhi Leonard from Riverside King earning MVP honors for the champion San Antonio Spurs.
So if the stars are aligned, Stanton will be hitting balls toward them tonight in Minneapolis starting at around 5 p.m.
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