Marlins surprise Alcantara with Cy Young plaque ceremony

February 26th, 2023

JUPITER, Fla. -- Marlins ace 's birthday isn't for seven months, but his ballclub found a way to surprise him on Sunday afternoon ahead of its Grapefruit League home opener.

As Alcantara stood inside the home dugout at the Roger Dean Chevrolet Stadium with Miami and St. Louis' starters lined up for the national anthem, he suddenly heard his name. Principal owner Bruce Sherman walked toward home plate to present Alcantara with his 2022 National League Cy Young Award during a pregame ceremony, with general manager Kim Ng as well as Alcantara's son, brother and agent in attendance to honor the franchise's first Cy Young winner.

"I just went outside," Alcantara said. "I didn't expect that I was going to receive my award today. At the end of the day, I got it. I feel so happy -- finally I've got it in my hands."

The timing couldn't have been more perfect. In December 2017, the Cardinals dealt prospects Alcantara, Zac Gallen, Magneuris Sierra and Daniel Castano to the Marlins for Marcell Ozuna. Alcantara's most memorable start last season came on June 29 in a complete game win in St. Louis, where he convinced then-manager Don Mattingly to keep him in during a ninth-inning mound visit.

Alcantara and Justin Verlander, who won the American League award, were recognized on Jan. 29 at the Baseball Writers' Association of America dinner in New York City. However, the plaques misspelled "valuable," omitting the second A and acknowledging the recipient as the "most valuble pitcher."

Due to that mistake, Alcantara was able to receive the corrected award in front of his teammates, fans and members of the organization. He plans on putting it in his home with his other accolades.

"I spent like 30 seconds looking at my name, looking at everything, because I don't want them to spend more time with my award," Alcantara said.