BAT MAN FOREVER
Fred Lum/The Globe and Mail
It was the toss seen round the world: Jose Bautista of the Toronto Blue Jays hit the series-winning three-run homer in Game 5, giving Toronto a 6-3 lead in the bottom of the seventh
Missed the iconic Game 5 from the Jays' ALDS series against the Texas Rangers last year? Here are the highlights:
- Rachel Brady: Youngsters help Jays ward off Rangers in 6-3 victory
- Robert MacLeod: Jays advance to American League Championship Series
- In photos: Jays win Game 5
- Cathal Kelly: The Jays have finally broken Toronto’s sports curse
- Marcus Gee: Toronto comes together for Blue Jays pandemonium
- John Allemang: Fans taken on a wild ride
THE BAT FLIP
Here you go. You're welcome.
WHAT BAUTISTA WAS THINKING
“I can’t really remember what was going through my mind, to be quite honest with you. After I made contact … I just enjoyed the moment, rounded the bases, got to the dugout. And after all the guys stopped punching me and hitting me is when I kind of started realizing what had happened. I knew I did something great for the team at the moment of impact because I knew I hit that ball pretty good, and I gave us the lead in a crucial moment so I was happy to do that.”Jose Bautista
Nine-year-old Oscar Wood – affectionately known by Jays fans, and now even his own father, as Mini Bautista – was filmed swinging a phantom bat while donning his painted Bautista-esque beard at the precise moment the real Blue Jay launched his game-changing homer. By the time Oscar woke up Thursday morning, the video had gone viral online. "I've got Mini Bautista next to me, he's all swung out and his arm is tired from high-fiving people," Oscar's father, Benn Wood – who skipped work to stay home with his son – told The Canadian Press.
Oscar sported the beard every time he went to watch the Blue Jays play. He mimics his idol's entire batting routine, from his warm-ups in the on-deck circle to the slugger's tics in the batter's box.
After Oscar's swing, the family jostled their way to the front row to celebrate with the Jays. First baseman Chris Colabello came out and was on top of the dugout spraying champagne on fans. "I was screaming 'yeah!' and got a bunch in my mouth – it tasted horrible," Oscar told The Canadian Press.
Bautista has had some adult imitators too:
For Christmas hope you get Bautista Bat Flip sweater you've always wanted pic.twitter.com/aB5Vq95OKl— Batting Stance Guy (@BattingStanceG) December 22, 2015