Former Blue Jays slugger José Bautista on MLB’s 2024 Hall of Fame ballot

Longtime Toronto Blue Jays outfielder José Bautista has made baseball’s 2024 Hall of Fame ballot.

Bautista was one of 28 players announced on the ballot, including former Blue Jays starting pitcher Mark Buehrle and infielder José Reyes.

It’s Bautista’s first year of eligibility.

The 43-year-old played 10 seasons in Toronto, emerging as one of baseball’s best sluggers while North of the Border.

He ranks among the top five in several Blue Jays all-time categories, including home runs (288), RBIs (766), walks (803), and games played (1,235). He also ranks first among Blue Jays position players in Wins Above Replacement (WAR), with 38.3 accrued during his tenure.

During his time in Toronto, Bautista was a six-time All-Star and three-time Silver Slugger. He had 288 homers with the Blue Jays, including a major league-leading 54 in 2010 and 43 in 2011.

The 54 home runs he slugged in 2010 are a single-season Blue Jays record, as is the 8.4 WAR he posted in 2011.

The former outfielder is also responsible for one of the greatest moments, if not the greatest, in Blue Jays’ history with his memorable 2015 bat-flip home run in the American League Division Series (ALDS) against the Texas Rangers.

During Game 5 of the 2015 American League Division Series between the Texas Rangers and the Toronto Blue Jays, Toronto outfielder José Bautista executed what Andrew Keh of The New York Times described as possibly “the most ostentatious bat flip in MLB history.”

The widely-recognized home run guided the Blue Jays to their first American League Championship Series (ALCS) since 1993, the last time Toronto won the World Series. Bautista and the Blue Jays would advance to the ALCS again in 2016, losing to the Cleveland Indians (now the Guardians).

Bautista was inducted into Toronto’s Level of Excellence on August 12, 2023. The day before the ceremony, he signed a one-day contract with the team and formally announced his retirement as a Toronto Blue Jay.

His name adorns the facing along the 400 level of the ballpark beside Hall of Fame pitcher Roy Halladay.

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