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Blue Jays fans say goodbye to Bautista in last home game (PHOTOS, VIDEOS)

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Ian Hunter Sep 24, 2017 1:49 pm 1,576

Blue Jays fans understood the gravity of the situation. This was very likely the last time they would see Jose Bautista in a Toronto Blue Jays uniform, so they came out in droves to pay tribute to the franchise icon.

All week long, chants of “Jose Jose Jose Jose” could be heard loud and clear at the Rogers Centre, but they laid it on especially thick this weekend when Bautista took his final at bats of the 2017 Blue Jays’ home schedule.

Crowds gave the superstar his due credit during every at bat of Sunday’s home schedule finale as they rose to their feet and showed their appreciation for everything Jose has done for the Blue Jays and the city of Toronto.

Fans made special signs to honour the Blue Jays right fielder and their messages were on display throughout the weekend series against the Yankees at the Rogers Centre.

MLB.TV/Sportsnet

MLB.TV/Sportsnet

MLB.TV/Sportsnet/@matttomic

Even Marcus Stroman chose to honour his teammate and mentor by pulling out one of Bautista’s old uniforms. Stroman sported this prior to the game during the team’s warm-ups.

The veteran did a little throwback of his own as he chose to use Usher’s “OMG” as his walk-up song during Sunday’s game; a song which Bautista had as his walk-up track during the 2010 and 2011 seasons.

During the start of the game, Bautista’s teammates remained in the dugout and allowed Number 19 to take to the field during player introductions. He soaked it all in, clapped back and acknowledged the fans as they cheered loudly for the 14-year veteran.

If this is truly it for Bautista in a Blue Jays uniform, he’ll go out as one of best players in franchise history. He ranks second in home runs (287), third in RBI’s (763), and fifth in games played (1,229) as a Blue Jay.

He’ll be remembered most for his signature moment – the bat flip – but more importantly, Bautista helped legitimize the Blue Jays and his contributions went a long way towards ending the team’s 22-year playoff drought.

Regardless of what happens next year, nothing will taint Bautista’s contributions to the Blue Jays, the city of Toronto and the entire country of Canada. Nothing will ever diminish his legacy as one of the most important Blue Jays of all-time.

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Ian Hunter
Toronto Blue Jays blogger/writer, GIF maker, baseball moustache aficionado, runner, beer admirer, proud dad.

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