Jose Bautista’s infamous bat-flip home run ball from Game 5 of the 2015 ALDS has hit the auction block. Bautista hit the home run in the seventh inning, turning the game with a single swing of the bat from a 3-3 tie to a formidable 6-3 lead. That would be the final score and propel the Toronto Blue Jays to the ALCS where they would lose to the Kansas City Royals, who would go on to become the World Series champions.
Bautista’s bat from the infamous home run is located in a display case in the Blue Jay’s clubhouse.
Historic Toronto Blue Jays Ball Heads to Auction
The ball is lot #561 in Leland Auction’s Winter Classic Auction. The ball’s opening bid is $3,500 but in-house appraisers expect the ball could bring as much as $8,000 by auction end on February 1.
This bat-flip, in particular, set off a vigorous debate across the baseball world. Bat-flips are seen in many conservative baseball circles as flashy and unsportsmanlike while others see it as a way to bring personality and fun into the game.
The ball from the historic comeback moment set into motion a larger rivalry between Toronto and the Texas Rangers. This resulted in an altercation the next season as Rougned Odor landed a solid punch to Bautista’s chin. Bautista would later get his revenge in a different altercation, hitting Odor with an equally powerful punch to the head.
Bautista spent the largest chunk of his impressive career with Toronto as a member of the team from 2008-2017. Bautista landed in Toronto as the result of a trade with the Pittsburgh Pirates for Robinzon Diaz, to fill in for an injured Scott Rolen. During his Toronto tenure, he was a six-time all-star, three-time silver slugger award winner, and twice lad the MLB in home runs. He bounced around the Atlanta Braves, New York Mets, and Philadelphia Phillies in 2018 and entered free agency this off-season.
Link to auction: https://auction.lelands.com/bids/bidplace?itemid=90702
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