The Toronto Blue Jays may have decided to ditch their popular home run jacket ahead of the 2023 season, but it hasn’t stopped the popular tradition from resonating with another MLB club.
So much so, in fact, that last month the Pittsburgh Pirates contacted members of the Blue Jays, according to Sportsnet’s Jamie Campbell, asking if they can take over the home run jacket tradition.
Looks like Toronto agreed. Over the weekend, Pittsburgh finally introduced its custom jacket called “La Gente Del Barrio,” which means “people of the neighbourhood.” Those words were also emblazoned on the Blue Jays’ retired blazer.
In its time in Toronto, the jacket was worn in the dugout after a Jays player hit a home run. Pittsburgh’s hitters didn’t manage to get a home run during Sunday’s game against the Cincinnati Reds.
They did earn a 2-0 victory, though. After the game, Justice Delos Santos, who covers the team, shared the following image on Twitter of Carlos Santana sporting the blazer.
If you thought the Pirates were going to stop with a home run sword and a Pikachu, you are mistaken. They’ve got a custom jacket, too. pic.twitter.com/BtVK85E8iW
— Justice delos Santos (@justdelossantos) April 23, 2023
The Blue Jays’ bilingual player interpreter, Hector Lebron, whose nickname is “Tito,” introduced the original jacket in 2021.
Back in March, the Toronto Sun was the first to report news of the jacket’s retirement, with the decision led by the veteran players on the team, as they look to aim higher than simply celebrating big swings through the regular season.
“It’s time to go from a talented, fun team to a talented, fun team that’s going to scrap and claw and find ways to win games,” said Manager John Schneider.
With 16 wins and seven losses, Pittsburgh currently holds the second-best record in the MLB. Meanwhile, Toronto finds itself in third place in the AL East.
The Pirates will face off against the Blue Jays during their three-game series that begins May 5 at PNC Park.
If the garment has anything to do with it, the Jays may just want to take their tradition back.
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With files from Daily Hive’s Ben Steiner