TORONTO (AP) — Former big league slugger José Bautista is signing a one-day contract so he can retire with the Toronto Blue Jays.
The Blue Jays announced the deal on Friday. The 42-year-old Bautista is going to be added to the team’s level of excellence during a pregame ceremony on Saturday.
Bautista played for eight teams during 15 seasons in the majors, appearing in his last game in 2018 with Philadelphia. He hit .247 with 344 homers and 975 RBIs in 1,798 games.
Bautista was selected by Pittsburgh in the 20th round of the 2000 amateur draft and made his big league debut in 2004. He bounced around a bit before he was traded to Toronto in 2008.
Bautista turned into one of the game’s most feared sluggers with the Blue Jays. The six-time All-Star swatted 288 homers during 10 years with Toronto, including a major league-leading 54 in 2010 and 43 in 2011.
He is perhaps best known for his emphatic bat flip after crushing a tiebreaking three-run homer in the seventh inning of Toronto’s clinching 6-3 victory over Texas in Game 5 of their 2015 AL Division Series.
A Bautista bobblehead, capturing the memorable moment, will be presented to fans entering Rogers Centre on Saturday.
“It’s been almost 10 years, surprisingly, and I’ve had a lot of conversations and done a lot of interviews and chatted with fans about it,” Bautista said this week. “It’s a great memory. It’s a great moment, and ultimately, I think that’s why we play the sport, to create great memories through the entertainment that we provide as a form of entertainment.”
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The Associated Press