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.
Melissa Couto, The Canadian Press