Doc on Alcantara's historic '22 premieres

November 17th, 2022

MIAMI -- Who is Sandy Alcantara?

In his own words, the Marlins ace is many things: a kid, crazy, mature, a father, a husband, a friend, a partner. More importantly, he is "the man."

On Monday night, the Marlins premiered a mini documentary titled "22," chronicling Alcantara's historic National League Cy Young Award-winning 2022 season, at the Rooftop Cinema Club South Beach. It aired on Bally Sports Florida on Wednesday following the NL Cy Young announcement.

Fans can watch the documentary online here.

The 21-minute, 19-second film briefly touches on Alcantara's humble upbringing in the Dominican Republic and his tenure with the Cardinals, but mainly focuses on the past year -- from signing an extension last December to tossing a complete game in Milwaukee to cap his season. There are testimonials from the likes of pitching coach Mel Stottlemyre Jr. and teammate Pablo López, as well as behind-the-scenes footage of Alcantara at home, on the road, in the weight room and in the clubhouse.

According to Thiago Pinto, the Marlins' vice president of marketing, the idea for a documentary didn't come about until Alcantara's complete game on June 29 in St. Louis, where Avisaíl García slugged a go-ahead homer in the top of the ninth that allowed Alcantara to go back out in the bottom half of the frame. When Alcantara faced traffic on the bases, he convinced manager Don Mattingly to keep him in.

The creative services team of director Taylor Bolles, manager Julio Jauregui, senior producer of motion graphics Javier Castellanos, senior editor Ronald Rivas, producers Victor Martinez and Julian Rosa and content creation coordinator Nick Vegas decided to tell the inner side of arguably the best season from a pitcher in franchise history.

That included Alcantara explaining why he carries his red Rawlings glove, with RIP MOM & LEXI stitched in blue capital letters on the side, against his chest. It is a tribute to his mother, Francisca Montero, who died in July 2021, and his brother, Lexi (Alexander), who died four years before.

In the documentary, an emotional Alcantara wiped away tears with a tissue before revealing that he held his mother in his arms when she was dying. After she nursed and cared for him as a child, he now takes her in spirit with him to the mound every fifth day.

"Unfortunately, Sandy lost his mother last year, and that's incredibly sad, and unfortunately something Sandy and I have in common," said López, who was in attendance with Miguel Rojas and top prospect Eury Pérez. "So I think that just helps us bond even more, and those conversations are always going to stick with me. There's so many things that are greater than baseball in different aspects. So just having the opportunity to create that conversation, to create that support system for not only baseball stuff or off-the-field stuff, just means a lot."

The documentary also spends time on a pivotal juncture in August, when Alcantara faced the Dodgers in consecutive starts. After being lit up in Los Angeles, he went over film with López and realized he was tipping pitches. The confident Alcantara promised to get payback.

"In Miami, I'll eat them up with yucca," Alcantara said.

Alcantara stuck to his word, recording his fourth of an MLB-high six complete games against the NL-best Dodgers. His season would come to a close on Sept. 30 after going the distance against the Brewers. In a postgame clubhouse scene, Rojas gives a speech calling Alcantara "our Cy Young winner" and Mattingly recalls Alcantara wanting to "be a legend" when he joined the Marlins.

A Q&A followed the screening, whose audience included Alcantara's wife, son, father and brother as well as members of the organization like chairman/principal owner Bruce Sherman. Questions revolved around Stottlemyre's importance and a possible World Baseball Classic matchup between Alcantara and López.

"It's really nice for the organization to do something like this for him and for his family, something that he's going to keep for the rest of his life and his child and everybody in his family is going to be able to see this when he's 60 years old," Rojas said. "That's the importance of this day. Being here for him is for me, it's a privilege, because I've been watching Sandy grow throughout the years, throughout the organization. As soon as he got here, he wanted to be the guy, he wanted to get better every year, and what he did this year on the field was pretty special. But I know there's a lot more to come from him, and hopefully I can be here -- or if not -- I'm going to be watching from whatever. I know it's going to be special, and we got the right guy."