Giancarlo Stanton didn’t just slip on the Marlins’ home uniform for the cover of Sports Illustrated.
He had one painted on.
The 15-hour process resulted in Stanton becoming the first athlete to appear on the magazine’s cover in paint.
“That was a long day, a long process,” Stanton said of the paint-and-shoot, which took place at a Miami studio last week. “It was a fun shoot. I’m glad I did it.”
The paint job did nothing to camouflage Stanton’s muscular physique.
“I think a lot of guys can get painted,” Marlins pitcher Tom Koehler said. “But I don’t know how many guys would look like they were wearing their uniform when they did it. There’s no secret the kind of shape that guy’s in. It’s why he does what he does.”
Said Marlins general manager Dan Jennings: “I’m jealous. God decided one day He was going to make a special athlete, and He did.”
Stanton, the National League’s reigning home-run king, signed a 13-year, $325 million contract, the largest ever by a North American professional athlete. He has become not just the face of the franchise, but also one of the most recognized stars in pro sports.
Sports Illustrated made him its cover story for this week’s issue, and then ramped it up a notch by having Stanton pose in body paint.
Stanton said he had as many as six hands on him at one time in what was a laborious process.
“I did get a nap in, which was crucial, on about hour 8,” Stanton said of the shoot, which didn’t end until 11 p.m.
Stanton said his only regret was that he didn’t get to wear it home.
But Stanton said he was impressed with the result, all the way down to the smallest details, including his trademark orange sleeve.
“Everything was on point,” Stanton said of the painted uniform. “It’s unbelievable the things they can do.”
The result impressed his Marlins teammates, many of whom saw photos of the cover after returning to the clubhouse following Wednesday’s workout.
“That’s pretty crazy,” said Marlins reliever A.J. Ramos, one of Stanton’s closest friends.
Ramos said few players would be able to pull it off.
“I think some of us would look better in it than others,” Ramos said. “It probably would only be [Stanton] who could get away with something like that.”
Stanton is known for his disciplined weight-training program.
But even Stanton said he had to put in a little extra work before the shoot to put his already chiseled frame in tip-top form.
“I had to do a little extra than normal,” he said. “But nothing wrong with getting in a little extra shape.”
Stanton’s Marlins teammates can rest easy. The team won’t be switching from its usual threads to painted uniforms this season. But Jennings joked that it wouldn’t be outside the realm now that the Marlins play in an indoor ballpark.
“We’d be OK now because we’ve got a roof and we could play,” Jennings said.
“The other place [Sun Life Stadium], it would rain and wash the paint off.”