In this edition of Baseball Shorts, we pay attention to the bat flip. A phenom that is loved by many but perhaps even hated by more. Especially pitchers are not fond of it. But where does the bat flip come from? Read on and you will learn.
As a bat flip is considered an insult to the game by the purists, the younger generations of players like it. Especially a player like Bryce Harper is advocating the bat flip. He once named the game of baseball tired. In his opinion, players should be allowed to express themselves more. One of the ways of this expression is the bat flip according to the Phillies outfielder.
There used to be one pitcher who didn’t mind at all if an opponent flung his bat away after a home run. Late Marlins pitcher José Fernandez always grinned when someone hit a home run off him and then threw the bat away. He would also grin when he struck out the same player. “You win some, you lose some.”
Perhaps the most iconic bat flip ever was the one by José Bautista during the 2015 ALDS when he mashed a three-run homer off Rangers’ reliever Sam Dyson. Despite what his name may refer to, the reliever wasn’t able to clean up the Blue Jays’ offensive urge.
But where does the bat flip come from? It became popular in the 1990s in Korea. Also Central American countries love it.
But… in the 1960s several MLB players were flipping their bats already. Have a look at Commerce Comet after hitting a home run.
So even though it is regarded as insulting and unsportsmanlike according to the unwritten rules, the bat flip is used much longer than one may have expected.