It’s arguably one of the most iconic moments in Toronto Blue Jays history. Right fielder José Bautista hits a three-run home run during Game 5 of the 2015 American League Division Series (ADLS), immortalizing the moment with a badass bat flip. Since then, the move has been recreated as a Topps Company baseball card, a Jays fanatic’s thigh tattoo and now on an exclusive sneaker manufactured by shoe company New Balance.
A silent auction, held during the launch of New Balance’s first downtown location inside Toronto’s Exchange Tower to raise money for the Bautista Family Education Fund (BFEF), marks the unveiling of the commemorative sneaker. Guests bid on baseball memorabilia signed by Bautista himself and earn major bragging points for being able to see the Blue Jay, who is in attendance, up close and personal.
One of the themes Bautista emphasizes during his live Q&A with TSN sports reporter Natasha Staniszewski, is family values, a characteristic that New Balance Canada’s general manager, Gerald Woodman, says the slugger and the brand have in common.
“We’re family owned so it’s really about values, purpose and beliefs and [Bautista] really is instilled with family values and that really reflects what our business is all about.”
“We’re family owned so it’s really about values, purpose and beliefs and he really is instilled with family values and that really reflects what our business is all about,” says Woodman.
With the baseball season already underway, Blue Jays fans have their ball caps straightened and their jerseys pressed and buttoned as they eagerly anticipate another unforgettable season from the Canadian team.
Photos © Sadé Powell & Urbanology Magazine