Sports

Blue Jays fans cheer Jose Bautista in home finale

Jose Bautista feels the love at Rogers Centre on fan appreciation day, then singles in first at-bat vs. Yankees.

Toronto Blue Jays' Jose Bautista acknowledges the crowd after leaving the baseball game against the New York Yankees during the ninth inning, Sunday, September 24, 2017 in Toronto.

Jon Blacker / The Canadian Press

Toronto Blue Jays' Jose Bautista acknowledges the crowd after leaving the baseball game against the New York Yankees during the ninth inning, Sunday, September 24, 2017 in Toronto.

TORONTO — Jose Bautista acknowledged the Toronto crowd as he took the field before the rest of his teammates Sunday in what is likely his final home game in a Blue Jays uniform.

Bautista waved and clapped his hands as the crowd gave him a loud standing ovation before the game against the New York Yankees.

The 36-year-old slugger signed a one-year deal with Toronto prior to the 2017 season that includes a mutual option for 2018. The option is unlikely to be picked up after a rough season that saw a large dip in Bautista's production at the plate.

Bautista, a six-time all-star and two-time silver slugger, was met with another loud ovation as he walked up to the plate for his first at-bat to Usher's "OMG" — the song he used during his 54-homer 2010 season.

He hit a single and advanced to second on a wild pitch before a Kendrys Morales fly ball ended the inning.

Bautista has spent 10 years in Toronto and has 287 regular-season home runs and 762 runs batted in over that span. His most iconic homer came during the 2015 AL Division Series against the Texas Rangers, a three-run tiebreaking shot followed by a dramatic bat flip in Game 5 that helped Toronto advance to the ALCS.

Marcus Stroman, who started Sunday's game, was seen wearing a black Bautista jersey while he warmed up in the bullpen.

 

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