1. The Bat Flip – Game 5 of the 2015 ALDS
Texas Rangers at Blue Jays – Oct. 14, 2015
Because of one swing in October, two teams with no previous history became forever linked.
Because of one swing in October, punches were thrown in May. Because of one swing in October, a rivalry was born. Indeed, Jose Bautista’s go-ahead, three-run homer off of Sam Dyson to complete the Blue Jays’ series comeback from 2-0 down is the defining baseball memory for a generation of Canadians.
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The inning that this iconic moment occurred in did not start positively for the Jays, however. A Russell Martin throw back to the pitcher caromed off of Shin-soo Choo’s hand, allowing Rougned Odor to sprint home from third to give the Rangers a 3-2 lead.
A raucous, crowd at Rogers Centre could not comprehend this bizarre turn of events and began hurling projectiles onto the field. When the Blue Jays came to the plate, the baseball gods took mercy on Martin’s improbable mistake.
Three consecutive errors chased starter Cole Hamels and loaded the bases for Josh Donaldson. Fresh out of the pen, Sam Dyson jammed Donaldson, but the ball dropped just out of the reach of Odor. The Rangers got an out at second, but Kevin Pillar came in to score, tying the game.
Next up, Joey Bats.
Bautista dug in, took a ball, fouled a pitch off, then launched himself into the annals of Blue Jays history forever. The call of “BAUTISTA WITH A DRIVE, DEEP LEFT FIELD, NO DOUBT ABOUT IT,” as the camera shakily gives way to the stoic slugger rounding the bases is embedded in the memories of countless Jays fans around the world.
Which game was your favourite from the past five seasons? When do you think the team will get back to the playoffs? Let us know in the comments below.