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5 years ago today: Jose Bautista's earth-shattering bat flip

Toronto Blue Jays Jose Bautista flips his bat after hitting a three-run homer during seventh inning game 5 American League Division Series baseball action in Toronto on Wednesday, Oct. 14, 2015. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chris Young THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chris Young

A moment forever entrenched in the memories and minds of Toronto Blue Jays fans.

Jose Bautista’s mammoth, three-run home run in Game 5 of the 2015 American League Division Series.

Wednesday marks five years since Bautista rocked the Texas Rangers and the Rogers Centre – as well as every baseball fan with a pulse – in what is considered one of, if not the greatest moment in Blue Jays history.

At the time, Andrew Keh of The New York Times described Bautista’s bat flip as “the most ostentatious bat flip in MLB history.”

Less than a month later, Bautista wrote an article about the bat flip in the Players Tribune titled: “Are You Flipping Kidding Me?”

In it, Bautista said he “didn’t plan it. It just happened”, and that he was “caught up in the emotion of the moment” when he flipped the bat.

Those moments are spontaneous. They’re human. And they’re a whole lot of fun.

But nowadays, when a player flips his bat, especially a guy who wears his emotions on his sleeve, a small section of people always seem to turn it into a debate about the integrity of the game.

It’s true. I’m different. I come from a different baseball culture. But so what? Why does that have to be a bad thing?

Bautista’s bat flip has since altered the game of baseball in many ways. Players have followed his lead in unleashing bat flips of their own; proof that the game is best played when athletes are having fun.

What stands to be true is that Blue Jays fans, and perhaps Rangers fans as well, will never forget it.