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There is finally a beetle named for Jose Bautista

For too long, entomologists ignored the impressive contributions of MLB slugger Jose Bautista to our global landscape. Thankfully, University of Alberta-trained beetle expert Bob Anderson is both a Toronto Blue Jays fan and a guy whose job involves naming newly discovered weevils.

As detailed by Laura Armstrong in a story for the Toronto Star, the Ottawa-based Anderson happened to be watching Game 5 of the 2015 Blue Jays-Rangers ALDS while trying to come up with some names for previously anonymous beetle species. Bautista, famously and awesomely, hit a game-deciding homer in the bottom of the seventh and flipped his bat away in triumph, and Anderson’s daughter, immediately and accurately, recognized that the moment deserved to be commemorated in some fashion in the world of insect nomenclature.

So Anderson did just that, and now we have the Sicoderus bautistai.

Armstrong’s full story is well worth your time. An excerpt:

Naming a weevil after Bautista would be unique, but also fitting: the specimens Anderson was looking at were from the Dominican Republic, just like the player himself….

There was no indication as of Thursday night that Bautista was aware of his namesake, but Anderson thinks idea of the slugger using it as a conversation starter is cool: “Hey, I’ve got a bug named after me.”

As Anderson argued, having a bug named after you is indeed an extremely cool conversation starter, but it’s worth noting that so is, “Hello, I’m Jose Bautista, six-time Major League All-Star, the guy who hit the Homer That Launched a Million Takes.”

Now that Bautista is rightfully celebrated in the beetle world, this author humbly suggests Anderson spread the honor around to some of us who can’t start conversations with tales of our own baseball heroics. I can’t open with, “hey, I’m considered a predecessor of the launch-angle revolution, and I’ve smashed 344 big-league homers,” so it’d be kinda dope to have that weevil thing in my back pocket.

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