This means, in all likelihood, that Sunday afternoon’s game against the New York Yankees will be Bautista’s final game at Rogers Centre as a member of the Blue Jays.
Whether it was a home run title, an impassioned quote or an epic bat-flip, Bautista has provided Blue Jays fans with countless fond memories since being acquired in 2008.
Bautista was voted in at No. 5 on Sportsnet’s list of the 40 greatest players in franchise history, so with that in mind here’s a look at the final home games for the four Blue Jays greats who ranked ahead of him.
Final home game: September 26, 1995
Result: Blue Jays loss 5-0 to Baltimore
Stats: 0/4, 1 K
While Alomar enjoyed many great moments in Toronto, his final home game with the Blue Jays doesn’t rank among them. He became a free agent following the ’95 campaign and signed with the Baltimore Orioles where he spent three seasons.
Final home game: September 25, 1998
Result: Blue Jays loss 7-5 to Detroit
Stats: 0.1 innings, 1 earned run, 2 hits
After nearly five years away from the sport, Stieb made a comeback with the Blue Jays in 1998, making 19 appearances, mostly as a reliever. Stieb ended up re-signing with the Blue Jays on a minor-league deal after the season was over, but it was abundantly clear that his best days were behind him. The seven-time all-star formally retired in February of 1999 during spring training.
Final home game: September 25, 2009
Result: Blue Jays win 5-0 over Seattle
Stats: 9 innings, 0 earned runs, 7 hits, 0 walks, 9 strikeouts
Halladay’s name surfaced constantly in trade rumours during the summer of 2009. That winter he was dealt to the Philadelphia Phillies for prospects Travis d’Arnaud, Kyle Drabek and Michael Taylor.
He knew there was a strong chance it was his last game with the team and said that his final game as a Blue Jay in Toronto was special. Fans gave him a standing ovation after he went nine scoreless innings.
“Regardless of what happens this winter, it means a lot to me,” Halladay told reporters at the time. “To have that many people that supportive and chanting, I think it’d mean a lot to anybody. Especially walking off, I can’t remember many times going out for the ninth where people are cheering and standing up before the inning starts. Maybe I was more aware of it, but definitely you feel the excitement and show your appreciation.”
Final home game: October 3, 2004
Result: Blue Jays loss 3-2 to New York Yankees
Stats: 2/2, 2 doubles, 1 walk, 1 RBI
Delgado finished the 2004 campaign with 99 RBI, snapping a six-season streak with at least 100 RBI. His final home game at Rogers Centre ended with him in the on-deck circle as Vernon Wells flew out. Oh, what could’ve been.
The franchise leader in home runs (336) signed a lucrative four-year deal with the Marlins in the off-season. He was traded to the Mets after just one season in Florida but he managed to get more than 100 RBI in three of his final five seasons before retiring.