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Blue Jays to honour Bautista in regular season

TORONTO – The Toronto Blue Jays will be honouring one of their greats on Aug. 12.

The team announced Sunday that it will have slugger Jose Bautista take his place on the Level of Excellence in a pre-game ceremony.

“José Bautista captured hearts and ignited a fan base as part of the team that brought Toronto back to the post-season for the first time in 22 years,” said Blue Jays president and CEO Mark Shapiro.

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“His on-field achievements propelled the team to greatness, and he undoubtedly belongs on the Blue Jays Level of Excellence.”

Bautista was traded to Toronto in August 2008 from the Pittsburgh Pirates and spent nine-plus seasons with the Blue Jays.

The 42-year-old became a household name in Toronto, making six all-star games (2010-2015) and winning three Silver Slugger awards (2010, 2011, 2014).

He set the single-season franchise record with 54 home runs in 2010, while leading Major League Baseball. His 288 homers with the Blue Jays only trail Joe Carter in the team’s record books.

In his 15-year career (2004-2018), Bautista had 344 home runs, 975 runs batted in and 1496 hits having also played for Tampa Bay, Kansas City, Baltimore, the New York Mets, Atlanta and Philadelphia.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published March 5, 2023.

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