I cannot describe the feelings I have right now after watching that emotional, nerve racking game.
For many years, a night like this seemed impossible. People just dream about things like this. When the Toronto Blue Jays acquired Jose Bautista in 2008 for a player to be named later, he was just a spare tire. A major leaguer, but nothing more. In the past seven years, Jose Bautista has enjoyed the best and worst of times in this city, blossoming into a superstar along the way. Now, finally, he has his moment. Jose Bautista waited his entire 12-year career for this moment, and the Toronto Blue Jays have delivered on the biggest stage yet.
To see him play a starring role on a team that has reached this level, especially at this point late in his career, has been a joy.
Then there was that amazing bat flip.
"I knew I'd done something great for the team at the moment of impact," Bautista told reporters after the game. "I don't remember much after that."
Bautista's Game 5-winning three-run blast is the biggest home run he's hit for the Blue Jays, which is saying a lot, considering how many he has amassed since coming to Toronto in 2008.
"After I made contact ... I just enjoyed the moment, rounded the bases, got to the dugout. And after all the guys stopped punching me and hitting me is when I kind of started realizing what had happened. I knew I did something great for the team at the moment of impact because I knew I hit that ball pretty good, and I gave us the lead in a crucial moment so I was happy to do that."
In the past, Bautista's emotions have gotten him in trouble with umpires and other teams, but none of that seemed to matter to his coach and champagne-covered teammates on this night.
"Bautista, he's got the flair for the dramatic, you know," Toronto manager John Gibbons said fondly. "On the national stage, it really showed off."
With runners on the corners, Bautista hammered a three-run home run off Texas Rangers reliever Sam Dyson propelling the Blue Jays to the eventual 6-3 win and advancing them to the American League Champions Series for the first time since 1993.
After the Rangers plated to the go-head run on a controversial call in the top of the seventh that led the game being played under protest, the Jays stormed back following three consecutive errors, setting the stage for Bautista's career defining moment.
The Blue Jays become the third team since 1995 to come back from a 0-2 deficit at home to win the ALDS.
What the city of Toronto, and its fans witnessed last night was the reawakening of passion. We maybe able claim the league is out to get them after what happened with Russel Martin or we may claim to be a team of destiny after a comeback written in Hollywood but what isn't questionable is what everyone in Toronto felt. History. Everyone witnessed an event so important a city nearly stopped to see it. History has a face.
I asked a friend of mine how he felt about this, considering his love for baseball. His answer left me speechless.
“Zara I’m not trying to sound like a super fan but I’ve literally been waiting for this moment all my life” Kevin told me “This has been the most significant Jays moment. I’ve been to every bobble head game, give away games, Saturday and even weekday games. Now the significant in October baseball has really changed my life. I’ve never been happier as a sports fan.. This is my life.. I’ve been through thick and thin with the jays.”
Let’s use this example, every 30 years or so, this team you so badly want to win actually wins! 30 years and thousands of hours of time and dedication and finally, the ultimate goal is achieved—and then what happens? Some major change in your life? No, you go stand on the street and yell things, and then people start rioting, which makes no sense because they’re happy.
There aren’t too many times in life you can celebrate something with complete strangers and feel an emotional connection with your community as a whole.
With heart in hand, the Jays fans anxiously wait for the next chapter in this awaiting journey.