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Former Toronto Blue Jays player Jose Bautista attends a news conference, in Toronto, on Aug. 11, 2023.Chris Young/The Canadian Press

Former Toronto Blue Jays slugger Jose Bautista has bought into Las Vegas Light FC of the United Soccer League.

The 43-year-old Bautista, as primary investor, takes over as chairman and governor of the club.

Bautista played in the major leagues from 2004, starting with the Baltimore Orioles, to 2018, with the Philadelphia Phillies. The hard-hitting outfielder made his name with Toronto from 2008 to 2017.

Bautista hit an MLB-leading 54 home runs in 2010, setting the Blue Jays’ single-season record. His 288 homers as a Jay trail only Carlos Delgado for the most in club history.

From 2010 to 2015, Bautista hit more home runs than any other player in the league, winning three Silver Slugger Awards (2010, 2011, 2014) and appearing in six straight all-star games. He retired with 344 home runs to his credit.

He was added to the Blue Jays Level of Excellence at Rogers Centre in August.

Bautista was an early equity partner, lead investor and board member for Marucci Sports, a baseball equipment startup that was sold to Compass Diversified Holdings in 2020. Additional business interests include stakes in Canada Goose, which went public in 2017, and Endy Sleep, which was acquired by Sleep Country in 2018.

He currently serves as a partner and senior adviser to Aquilance, a household financial management firm.

The Las Vegas soccer club, which plays at the downtown Cashman Field, entered the USL Championship in 2018. It finished last in the 12-team Western Conference last year at 3-21-10.

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