Jose Bautista's Bat Flip Is A Mural Now & The Toronto Blue Jays Gave Him An Epic Goodbye
Thank you, Joey Bats!
It’s been almost eight years since Jose Bautista’s dramatic bat-flip home run with the Toronto Blue Jays, and the team has finally immortalized that epic playoff moment with a new mural in the city.
Bautista signed a one-day contract last week in order to officially retire as a member of the Toronto Blue Jays, and the franchise unveiled a mural of his bat flip to celebrate the occasion.
Bautista famously hit a three-run homer against the Texas Rangers to help the Blue Jays beat them in the MLB playoffs in 2015. The crowd in Toronto went wild the moment he blasted that baseball into the Rogers Centre seats, but it was Bautista's casual bat flip that really captured people's imaginations. The move became highlight-reel stuff and went on to inspire memes, tattoos and plenty of copycats.
Bautista would leave the Jays in 2018 and his career tailed off after that, but he didn't announce his official retirement until earlier this year at age 42.
However, the Jays still wanted to do something special for him, so he signed a one-day contract to retire as a member of the franchise during a special Bautista Day in Toronto over the weekend.
"I owe a great deal to this franchise. They gave me a chance and I was able to accomplish a lot here," Bautista told reporters at a news conference. He added that he considered himself a Blue Jay at heart, even after all these years.
"In my head, I was already retired as a Blue Jay," he said. "This way, fans can have their moment too."
Where is the Jose Bautista bat flip mural in Toronto?
The Toronto Blue Jays' Jose Bautista bat-flip mural can be found in the area of Spadina Avenue and Adelaide Street West.
Toronto artist Paul Glyn-Williams painted the mural this summer, and Bautista actually showed up with his family to admire it after it was complete.
The mural was painted on the side of a building at 99 Spadina Avenue, at the corner of Spadina and Oxley Street. The site is within walking distance of Toronto's famous Graffiti Alley, so you can easily head over there after checking this one out.
In addition to the mural, the Blue Jays added Bautista to their Level Of Excellence club and celebrated him with a bobblehead and a pregame event for fans on Saturday.
Bautista fought back tears through parts of the ceremony and said goodbye with one final message to the fans.
"It was an honour to play for you," he said, per Sportsnet.