José Bautista signs one-day contract to retire as a Toronto Blue Jay

The Toronto Blue Jays have revealed that José Bautista, an iconic figure who helped define an era of Blue Jays baseball, will be signing a one-day contract with the team. This contract will mark his official retirement as a member of the Toronto Blue Jays.

Fans and enthusiasts are invited to witness the historic contract signing, which will be streamed live today at 2:30 p.m. via the Blue Jays’ official social media channels (@BlueJays). This event sets the stage for the upcoming ceremony on Saturday, where the name of the legendary slugger will be forever etched into the annals of franchise history.

The Level of Excellence at the Rogers Centre, an area of the building honouring the most impactful individuals in the history of the Blue Jays, will display José Bautista’s name. This recognition is a testament to his contributions, not only as an exceptional player but also as a beacon of inspiration for Canadian baseball fans.

“José Bautista’s name is synonymous with Blue Jays baseball, and we consider it a tremendous honor that he will conclude his career in the uniform of the Blue Jays,” said Mark Shapiro, the president & CEO of the Toronto Blue Jays. “His on-field heroics and inspiring work ethic left an indelible mark on a generation of fans. We extend our heartfelt gratitude to José for his captivating tenure representing the Toronto Blue Jays.”

Bautista’s legacy is tightly interwoven with a pivotal period of Blue Jays baseball that ignited a renewed passion among fans. His ferocious swing, powerful arm, and leadership played instrumental roles in the team’s resurgence into postseason contention alongside the likes of Edwin Encarnación and Josh Donaldson. The symbol of a one-day contract allows the Blue Jays organization and fans across the nation to collectively celebrate the remarkable decade-long career that Bautista crafted in Toronto.

The flip heard across the country

José Bautista’s journey with the Blue Jays began on August 21, 2008, following his trade from the Pittsburgh Pirates. It was in 2010 that he truly soared into the limelight, embarking on a breakout season that earned him an MLB All-Star selection. This standout year was marked by three American League Player of the Week awards and two American League Player of the Month acknowledgments. Bautista also set the Blue Jays’ single-season home run record, amassing an impressive 54 home runs – a franchise record that stands unbroken to this day. His tally of 288 home runs as a Blue Jay places him second only to Carlos Delgado in the club’s history.

From 2010 to 2015, José Bautista’s home run tally surpassed that of any other player in the league. His prowess earned him three Silver Slugger Awards (2010, 2011, 2014) and a streak of six consecutive MLB All-Star Game appearances (2010-2015).

But really, Bautista cemented his legacy and the love of Blue Jays’ fans with the bat flip. A pivotal moment etched in baseball history occurred during Game 5 of the 2015 ALDS against the Texas Rangers, when Bautista’s unforgettable seventh-inning three-run home run and the subsequent flip of the bat resonated throughout Rogers Centre, uniting the entire nation in celebration.

The culmination of José Bautista’s extraordinary career will be commemorated on August 12, during a pregame ceremony dedicated to honoring his impact on the club. The ceremony will take place before the Blue Jays face off against the Chicago Cubs at 3:07 p.m.

Thank you José Bautista and welcome home.

Article exclusive to STREETS OF TORONTO