The bat flip is one of the most exciting occurrences on a baseball diamond -- both in the punctuation it confers on the preceding home run, and in the personality behind its creativity. As we appreciate this artistic flourish, here's a look at the 50 greatest bat flips of all
The bat flip is one of the most exciting occurrences on a baseball diamond -- both in the punctuation it confers on the preceding home run, and in the personality behind its creativity. As we appreciate this artistic flourish, here's a look at the 50 greatest bat flips of all time, as compiled by MLB Network:
Who says you can't produce a magnificent bat flip on a sacrifice fly? In this group, you'll see one that wins a game for the D-backs. Also in this tier: a bat flip that caused the benches to clear between the Cubs and Marlins, and the "Bringer of Rain" bringing a storm back in his days by the Bay.
Mike Piazza doing a bat flip/Sammy-Sosa-hop combo? You bet. Also in this tier of fantastic flips: "Mannywood" on the postseason stage against the defending World Series champions, a record-breaking shot by former Braves catcher Javy Lopez, and Wladimir Balentien doing Wladimir Balentien things in the 2017 World Baseball Classic.
In this set: a Jose Bautista bat flip that causes tempers to flare (no, probably not the one you're thinking of), a pitcher flipping his bat while watching his first career homer sail out of Dodger Stadium, and a classic from Jose Pujols.
No bat flip list would be complete without the reigning MLB home run champion, so in this group we have a walk-off grand slam by Giancarlo Stanton, as well as Manny Ramirez throwing his hands up as he watches a walk-off shot in the 2007 American League Division Series.
Rickey Henderson hit 297 career home runs, and in this batch of bat flips, an epic display following one against the Yankees. Also in this group: Yasiel Puig's bat flip at Dodger Stadium doesn't sit well with Madison Bumgarner, and Yoenis Cespedes crushes a National League Division Series homer before crushing an NLDS bat flip.
There's some serious history being made as we hit the Top 10 bat flips of all time. In this group, Barry Bonds ties Mark McGwire's single-season home run record by blasting his 70th on Oct. 4, 2001, against the Astros in Houston. Also in the Top 10, Edwin Encarnacion launches the Blue Jays into the ALDS with a walk-off grand slam in the 2016 AL Wild Card Game. And Carlos Delgado hits his 300th career home run in a four-homer game that he caps with a flip for the ages.
En route to being named the Most Valuable Player of the 1983 NL Championship Series against the Dodgers, the Phillies' Gary Matthews launches a three-run homer in Game 4 that features one of the most unusual and spontaneous bat flips you'll ever see.
A few weeks before he would win the 2015 Home Run Derby at his home ballpark, the Reds' Todd Frazier belted a walk-off grand slam in the 13th inning against the Tigers. He capped it off with a mammoth bat flip befitting of a mammoth homer to left-center field at Great American Ball Park.
If there was ever a bat flip to convey sheer joy, it's the one Asdrubal Cabrera performed on a walk-off three-run homer for the Mets against the Phillies on Sept. 22, 2016.
When you think "bat flip," this image is one of the first, if not the first that comes to mind, courtesy of Bautista in Game 5 of the 2015 ALDS against the Rangers. The flip came after a massive go-ahead three-run homer in the seventh inning.
Lest you think the bat flip is a recent invention in baseball, our all-time No. 1 bat flip came in Game 4 of the 1987 World Series, when the Cardinals' Tom Lawless put St. Louis in front of the Twins with a three-run shot to left field at Busch Stadium. Not only does Lawless admire his work, but he also sets the bat-flip standard for decades to come.