The former Blue Jays slugger made news this week for inspiring the name of a newly discovered beetle by a Canadian scientist.
In one of the coolest pieces of news this month, Jose Bautista, the former Blue Jays slugger perhaps most famous for his legendary “bat flip” has been immortalized in an unconventional sense. Bautista, a native of the Dominican Republic, has had a new species of beetle named after him.
According to the Canadian Press (via Sportsnet), Bob Anderson, a Canadian entomologist of the Canadian Museum of Nature, has christened a new species of beetle Sicoderus bautistai in honour of “Joey Bats”.
Fittingly enough, Anderson discovered the beetle while in Bautista’s home country of the Dominican Republic. When speaking of the species (and the name) Thursday, Anderson, who attended the Universities of Toronto and Alberta, as well as Ottawa’s Carleton University, said that he “thought what a great way to kind of recognize his contributions to Blue Jay baseball and to Canadian baseball, really, as a whole.”
This is, to say the very least, an amusing and heartwarming development, both for Bautista, Anderson and the Canadian baseball community, as Joey Bats, one of Canada’s most beloved baseball players, has been briefly brought back to our attention.
Bautista, 38, spent the 2018 season with the Atlanta Braves, Philadelphia Phillies and New York Mets, slashing a combined .203/.348/.378 with 13 home runs, 48 RBI, 18 doubles, and four stolen bases in 399 plate appearances spread across 122 games, the majority of them with the Mets.
Currently a free agent, it is unknown whether Bautista will be able to secure a major-league contract, despite his repeated desire to play major league ball once again. Regardless, it’s good to see something fun happen, especially when it’s done with as good intentions as Anderson seems to have.