On Sandy Alcantara Day in Miami, ace receives key to city

January 10th, 2023

MIAMI -- What does one give the reigning National League Cy Young Award winner?

As part of a ceremony on Tuesday morning at Miami City Hall, Mayor Francis Suarez handed Marlins ace Sandy Alcantara a key to the city and proclaimed Jan. 10 Sandy Alcantara Day.

"I think I will never forget this day, receiving that key," said Alcantara, who became the second Marlin to receive the key to Miami, joining 1997 World Series MVP Livan Hernandez. "It's going to mean a lot for me in my life."

With Marlins general manager Kim Ng, Marlins president of business operations Caroline O'Connor and District 5 Commissioner Christine King also in attendance, Suarez provided a brief biography on Alcantara, noting that the flamethrower began playing baseball at 8 years old -- the same age as his son.

"It's very exciting for me to be here today with one of the teams that resides in the City of Miami, that's done a magnificent job of being custodians of a property that is a very important property near and dear to our hearts in the Orange Bowl site," Suarez said. "So we're very grateful for that.

"His dedication has influenced hundreds, if not thousands of people in our community and has established himself as a positive leader and a role model, which is another reason why we want to commend him today and celebrate his accomplishment. He exemplifies determination, perseverance, a positive attitude, he's got a great smile. He's already recruiting me to be a player on the team, and he's an incredible leader in the community and demonstrates his commitment to the city over and over again."

It has been an eventful offseason for Alcantara, who became the first pitcher in franchise history to win the NL Cy Young Award, doing so in unanimous fashion in November. He also was named to the 2022 All-MLB First Team and earned the Juan Marichal Award, given to the most outstanding Dominican player in Major League Baseball.

The Marlins also released a documentary titled "22," which chronicles Alcantara's historic season.

"I just want to congratulate Sandy on a phenomenal season last year culminating in a Cy Young Award," Ng said. "It's just been such a privilege for us with the Marlins in the front office, as well as the fans of Miami, to watch Sandy every fifth or sixth day take that ball and know the kind of effort that he's going to put forth, and the performance, and really now being a tremendous leader in our clubhouse for our young players. And thank you so much to the mayor and everyone here for welcoming us and for giving this honor to Sandy. So well deserved."

During a sunny winter day overlooking the scenic Dinner Key Marina, Alcantara wasn't shy about stating that the weather and the proximity to his hometown of Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic, are what he loves most about South Florida.

Next month, Alcantara will report to Spring Training in Jupiter, Fla., then likely pitch for the Dominican Republic in the World Baseball Classic. Competition will take place at loanDepot park, where Alcantara has his "Sandy's Beach" fan section.

"Thank God for everything, and again thanks Francis for giving me the chance to be here today, as well as to the Marlins organization for giving me the opportunity, not only for playing baseball, but playing in this beautiful city. For me it will always be an honor," Alcantara said in Spanish.

"Super happy to receive this great award. I had never received one of these. ... The first of many. I'm blessed. Thank you to every one of you, the media, for being here today. I hope that I won't be the only one receiving this, and that many can also receive it. God bless every one of you. Hoping that you also go to the stadium and support us.

"For Francis, super happy and blessed for this opportunity to receive this big key. From now on, I can go to the bank with it and open the door."