TORONTO – Russell Martin’s favorite memory at Rogers Center is the same as that of many Blue Jays fans: Jose Bautista’s famous 2015 first-round playoff “bat flip”.
“Just the electricity of the crowd, you could feel the ground shaking and the energy was incredible,” said Martin. It truly is a moment that stands out more than any other. “
Martin added another memorable moment on Friday, making the ceremonial camp in Toronto on Canada Day, with the Rays as visitors.
Retired from May 28th. he was able to say thank you and goodbye to the supporters of the Jays.
Martin was hoping for “some cheers and a few laughs” from the packed crowd when the pitch arrived. Instead, he received a warm standing ovation and a tribute video, in which the narrator was Bautista. The latter concluded the video with a “Congratulations”, in French.
Famous ex manager John Gibbons gave a video testimony, as did several of Martin’s former teammates.
We saw the ex-receiver very moved on the ground with his wife Elisabeth and their two daughters, Emmy and Eva.
During the match, Vladimir Guerrero led in three runs and the Blue Jays defeated Tampa Bay, 9-2.
Guerrero scored a two-point brace that led to 4-1 in the third inning. He also pushed home a runner with an option.
George Springer and Bo Bichette each led in two runs, while Lourdes Gurriel scored a fifth homer.
Jose Berrios (6-4) conceded two points and eight hits in five innings. He was 0-2 in his three previous starts.
Corey Kluber (3-5) scored five points and seven wins in three innings.
Martin made the honor shot at Blue Jays catcher Gabriel Moreno, who wears the number 55 in honor of Martin.
Mustafa Hassan, the manager of the Jays’ dressing room, told Martin last season that Moreno would transfer his number, putting the two in contact by phone.
“It’s fabulous,” said Martin. He called me and I just told him there were still a lot of hits with that number. I wish him the best. “
Born in Toronto but raised in Montreal, Martin hit .225 with the Blue Jays. In four seasons with them, he had 66 homers and 211 RBIs, appearing once in the All-Star Game.
Martin said that playing Toronto on Canada Day has a special flavor.
“Feel the energy of the crowd,” said Martin. It is very special with all the red jerseys. The audience makes you feel like you’re in the playoffs, even if it’s regular season. “
Martin began his career with the Dodgers before moving to the Yankees and Pirates, before playing for the Jays. He then played for the last time with Los Angeles.
A member of four all-star teams, he finished his career averaging .248, scoring 191 home runs and 771 RBI.
At the end of the game, a very audible part of the 49,445 supporters sang O Canada. The spontaneous gesture moved Blue Jays manager Charlie Montoyo.
“It’s one of those things that reminds you of how great it is to play for an entire country,” said Montoyo.
The Blue Jays were home on Canada Day for the first time since 2019. They spent most of 2020 and 2021 in Dunedin or Buffalo due to the pandemic.
“We really missed this place,” said Cavan Biggio, who scored four goals and scored two points.
On Saturday there will be a double program (12:07 and 18:07).
Featured in connection with the first game, a “bobblehead” of Guerrero and his father, which will be given away to the first 15,000 fans.