Join us, as we turn National Bat Appreciation Day into Bat Flip Appreciation Day
Every April 17, the nation gathers together, bows its collective head, and celebrates National Bat Appreciation Day -- our small way of saying thank you for keeping mosquitoes in check, and also watching over Gotham.
But while actual bats are great/weirdly adorable and all, we think there's a different kind of bat that deserves our appreciation: the baseball bat. And, more specifically, all the wonderful ways in which the baseball bat can be flipped. Defiantly. Leisurely. With panache. Below are just some of the many varieties of bat flips encountered in the wild, and we hope you take the time to appreciate them all.
The "Ballgame over, everybody go home" flip
A bat flip is appropriate at just about any point, but there's no better time to let one loose than on a walk-off. After all, when you're riding the thrill of victory and don't have to think twice about where the bat ends up, you can pull a Kenneth Fudge.
Or even a Jesus Guzman:
The "Baseball's back!" flip
Not all bat flips have to be so aggressive. It's a gesture that can cover the entire emotional spectrum -- from joy to anger to whimsy. During a Spring Training batting practice, for example, James Shields used it to show just how excited he was that baseball was finally back.
The swag flip
In bat flips, as in life, sometimes less is more. Not every flip has to be a booming statement of purpose -- sometimes, all you need is the right timing, a smooth delivery and a perfect strut.
The any-excuse-to-bat-flip flip
Zack Greinke doesn't get to many chances to flip his bat. First of all, he's a pitcher, meaning he'll only see a plate appearance once every five days. Second of all ... he's a pitcher. Hard contact isn't a given. So it's understandable that he'd look for any possible excuse to show what he's got -- like, for example, a double to center. Won't someone please think of the #PitchersWhoRake?
He's yet to reach full Yasiel Puig status, though, in which just getting on base is worthy of some celebratory lumber.
The "I make this look good" flip
The bat flip proper might get all of the love, but it's only part of the equation. There's so much more that goes into a batter celebration -- so, though Willie Abreu didn't get much on his flip when he walked off against Clemson, all is forgiven thanks to his truly stellar post-flip strut.
The Muni Kawasaki flip
Admittedly not really a type unto itself, but all things Muni deserve their own mention, so here you go.
In the long and storied history of bat flips, one stands above them all. Only one that's become its own Topps card. Only one bat that's been flipped with such ferocity, such sheer disregard for lumber safety, it tilted the Earth right off its axis. Ladies and gentlemen, Jose Bautista: