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The top 10 bat flips in MLB history so far


Jose Bautista makes a strong showing in the American League Division Series on Oct. 14, 2015. Photo from The Players Tribune.

Sorry if you’re not a fan of bat flips, but it’s entertaining and the kids love doing it! There is a reason why Major League Baseball’s message is “Let the kids play!” since 2019.  


The criteria to make this list includes: the fashion in which the bat was flipped, the presence of mind, the flair for dramatics, the strut to first base and how many people saw the play in real-time. Creativity and context of the game helps. Doing it in the postseason doesn’t automatically make the flip inherently better, but certainly won’t hurt rankings. 

10. A Rivalry in a Nutshell: The Wild Horse Takes MadBum Deep

If Vin Scully calls you “the maestro of the bat flip,” you have to make this list. Yasiel Puig taking Madison Bumgarner deep to center field with the immediate bat flip on a pitcher whose beliefs were “old-fashioned” made for a spicy beef and added more fuel to a fiery NL West rivalry. The Wild Horse would face MadBum in 54 at-bats, the most against any single pitcher in Puig’s career.

9. Grand Slam Walk-Off Style for The ToddFather

After both teams scored 4 runs each through four innings, this game would stretch till the bottom of the 13th with the bases loaded and two outs for the home team Cincinnati Reds. Third baseman Todd Frazier would fall behind 1-2 to Detroit Tigers relief pitcher Joakim Soria and tattooed a hanging curveball into deep center field near the bullpens. The ToddFather with a clean, simple, yet swift and majestic bat flip.

8. Encarnacion walks the parrot on a walk-off homer in 11th. Blue Jays to ALDS

Edwin Encarnacion is known for hitting tank shots and walking the bird around the bases. What do I mean? The three-time All Star began his home run celebration on April, 28 2012, after hitting a grand slam off Seattle’s Hisashi Iwakuma, he bent his right arm and held it parallel to the ground while rounding the bases. The bird made a 2016 postseason appearance, becoming one of Canadian baseball’s best moments. But it wasn’t the best bat flip done by a Blue Jays player. Not even close. 

7. Gary Matthews Sr, The Greatest Bat Flip You’ve Never Seen

His son, Gary Matthews Jr, is known for his Spiderman-saving catch in center field against the Texas Rangers. But pops was known for being front and center during Game 4 of the 1983 NLCS and having one of the most effortless and gangsta bat flips in postseason history. He absolutely raked this series, posting a .429 avg, 3 HR, 8 RBI, .500 OBP, and 1.071 SLG. Matthews and the Phillies would lose to the Baltimore Orioles in the World Series. 

6. Asdrubal Cabrera Two Hands After Two Extra Innings

In the bottom of the eleventh inning, Asdrubal Cabrera belted a three-run missile to right field off Edubray Ramos. Ramos a year later would seek revenge and throw at Cabrera the first opportunity he got on April 10, 2017. A barbaric response and uncalled for retaliation from the pitcher. 

5. Tim Anderson Introduces Himself and Clears the Benches

You know the interlude on Jay-Z’s The Black Album called Public Service Announcement? Every time I watch Tim Anderson take Brad Keller 400 feet, I hear HOV’s legendary opening, “Allow me to reintroduce myself… MY NAME IS HOV!” This play made Tim Anderson known not just amongst the diehards, but casuals took notice of the stud shortstop for the White Sox since the flip.

4. Mannywood Takes K-Rod Deep in Game 2 of the ALDS

The pose… forget the bat flip for a second. That was the second best moment about the homer. Forget that it cleared the entire Green Monster or that it was in the postseason against the Angels. The way Manny Ramirez stood at the plate with both hands victoriously pointing to the sky… absolutely awestruck. An absolute no-doubter if there were a definition in Merriam Webster for it.

3. Juan Soto One Ups Alex Bregman in the WS

Nobody likes a cheater. And no one especially likes it when a cheater is showboating on you. So what do you do? One up the ante! Double down! Anything you can do, I can do better pal! And we’re in the World Series? Juan Soto told Alex Bregman basically “aight bet” with one swing of the twig.

2. Tom Lawless Looked Like He Knew What He Was Doing

We miss you already, Al Michaels (congrats on retirement). The originator of our Number 3 selection. This was Lawless’s second career home run and only hit of the World Series. It’s not about how many, but the one you connect on. PLAKATA! Forever in Cardinals lore. 

1. Joey Bats with the Bat Flip Heard Around the World

“You can only flirt with fire for so long… and it’s gonna burn ya.” Harold Reynolds’s iconic call in the ALCS will forever ring in baseball lore. How do you conclude one of the longest and controversial innings in baseball history? If you’re Jose Bautista, with brash and braun. And the most iconic bat flip in MLB history. This would birth one of the more iconic baseball beefs featuring Joey Bats and Rangers second baseman Rougned Odor.

Honorable Mentions

El Nino Says How Do You Do to St. Louis 

This Fernando Tatis Jr. bat flip would become the cover art of his appearance as the MLB The Show 21 cover athlete. The phenom, while out with a wrist injury, will surely have more bat flips worthy for consideration in the Top 10 throughout his career. Stay healthy El Nino! The game is better when you’re playing!

Big Papi Bombs the Bronx with a No-Doubter 

This game would eventually be suspended in the sixth inning after inclement weather conditions. But not before David Ortiz collected his 10th home run of the 2013 season against Yankee reliever Hiroki Kuroda. The flip, just carried from momentum of the swing, and in the direction of the Red Sox dugout. Vintage Papi. 

Ricky Henderson Doesn’t Like the New York Much

Ricky Henderson isn’t the only HOFer to hate the Yankees. But that’s another video for another time. To show how much he disliked the pinstripes, Henderson pimped this bat flip and strut to first base in Broadway fashion.