‘Fistfight with O’Dowd’ Batista signs one-day deal with Toronto…retirement ceremony on 13th
August 12, 2023 | by bookmeforphotographers.com
Jose Bautista, 42, who performed a taboo “bat flip” in Major League Baseball (MLB) that led to a fistfight, has officially retired.
Batista signed a one-day contract with his hometown team, the Toronto Blue Jays, for a retirement ceremony on Wednesday.
Batista will say goodbye in front of his home fans before the 2023 MLB World Series against the Chicago Cubs on April 13 at Rogers Centre in Toronto, Ontario, Canada.
Batista was an outfielder during Toronto’s golden era in the 2010s, posting a career .247 batting average, 344 home runs, and 975 RBI in 15 seasons from 2004 to 2018.
He made a name for himself as a power hitter, hitting 54 home runs in a single season with Toronto in 2010.
Batista is more famous for his “bat flips” than his stats.
On October 15, 2015, in the bottom of the seventh inning of a 3-3 tie in Game 5 of the American League Division Series against the Texas Rangers, after hitting a game-winning three-run home run, Batista briefly looked toward the mound before flipping his bat in the air.
It remains one of the most dramatic bat-flipping ceremonies in MLB history, but it also drew criticism for disrespecting the opposing team.
Still remembering the moment, Texas retaliated against Batista the following year.
On May 16, 2016, Batista made a rough slide to second base in the eighth inning of a visiting game against Texas, and Texas infielder Lugned O’Dowd delivered a hard punch to Batista’s face.
O’Dowd’s sharp punch, reminiscent of a boxer’s, caught the attention of sports fans around the world.
Batista played in Toronto until 2017, then bounced between three teams in 2018 before never returning to MLB.
After being released by his last team, the Philadelphia Phillies, he continued to play in his native Dominican Republic, where he competed at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics, appearing in the bronze medal game against South Korea. 꽁머니지급
“Everyone knows I’m retired, but I wanted to make it official,” Batista told ESPN and other local media outlets that day.
O’Dowd, meanwhile, was released last month after playing 59 games for the San Diego Padres this season.