American Professional Baseball Major League (MLB) Toronto signed a contract with Jose Batista (43) on the 1st ahead of the home game against the Chicago Cubs on the 13th. It was a special event that allowed Batista to celebrate his official retirement as a member of the Toronto club.스포츠토토

“Everyone knows I’ve been retired for a while, but this is to make my retirement official,” Batista said. There would be no better way to officially retire than to come back to Toronto and sign a one-day contract and then declare a real retirement,” he explained why he signed a one-day contract that day.

Batista, who played in Toronto from 2008 to 2017, did not step into the big leagues again after playing for three teams in 2018: Atlanta, New York Mets and Philadelphia. Later, at the 2021 Tokyo Olympics, he participated as a member of the Dominican national team and won a bronze medal.

Toronto club president Mark Shapiro (56) said at a press conference that day, “There are not many names that can replace Batista in the Toronto club. It is an honor for Batista to officially retire in a Blue Jays uniform. He represents the fans who grew up watching Batista’s punch and great integrity (Work Ethic) on the field, so I’d like to thank him for playing for Toronto for 10 years.”

Batista debuted in Baltimore in 2004 and played 15 years in the big leagues until retiring after a season in Philadelphia in 2018, spending the longest 10 seasons (2008-2017) in Toronto. Among them, he became the home run king in 2010 (54 home runs) and 2011 (43 home runs). The 54 home runs is the Toronto club’s most home run record so far. Batista was selected as an All-Star for six consecutive years in Toronto (2010-2015) and had a golden age.

In particular, to Toronto fans, he is a player who presented unforgettable memories with an exciting ‘bat flip’ after hitting a 3-run home run in the bottom of the 7th inning when the score was tied 3-3 in game 5 of the 2015 playoff American League Division Series (ALDS).

Batista played an active role as the team’s central hitter when Toronto reached the American League Championship Series (ALCS) for two consecutive years in 2015 and 2016. Since then, Toronto’s postseason progress to the wild card (2020, 2022) has been at its best.

Before the game on the 13th, a 40-minute event was held to commemorate Batista’s retirement. Batista said to the 42,585 fans who filled the homeroom Rogers Center, “You all embraced me and my family like family. Long before he became an All-Star, he was treated like an All-Star. I will never forget that I belonged to Toronto. I will always be proud to have played for Toronto.”

On this day, Batista was named in the ‘Peel of Excellence’, which corresponds to the club’s own Hall of Fame. Batista has his name engraved side by side with club legends on the outer wall of the center of the stadium’s stands.

Afterwards, Batista pitched the first pitch before the game. The catcher who will hold his ball is Vladimir Guerrero Jr. (24), who is also active in Toronto and is from Dominican Republic. After receiving Batista’s ball, Guerrero Jr. pulled a pen out of his pocket so that Batista could sign the commemorative ball right away.

Guerrero Jr. said, “Today is a reward for the passion and sacrifice he put in every day on the pitch. After retiring, seeing the club return the love it has received, I think I will feel really grateful during my active career.”

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