We are still a few weeks away from Major League pitchers and catchers reporting to their respective spring training sites but that does not mean baseball is completely dormant during these long winter months.
Head south into the Caribbean and you can find baseball being played regularly thanks to the tropical climate. One of the most popular leagues currently running is the Dominican Winter League in the Dominican Republic and on Thursday night, dropped what end up being the best baseball highlight of 2018.
In the bottom of the seventh inning, former major leaguer Juan Francisco of the Tigres del Licey stepped to the plate with the bases loaded. With his team already leading 2-1, Francisco extended the lead by four with a grand slam over the right field wall.
The home run is impressive in itself and sent the home crowd into a frenzy as it sailed over the wall, but the real highlight is what the camera missed as it tracked the ball in the air.
Yep, that’s Francisco staring that bad boy down for a solid six seconds before casually tossing the bat in the air to begin his trip around the bases.
I mean, look at the height on that toss.
The only way to fully appreciate the moment is seeing the video sent out by the club’s official Twitter after it happened.
— LIDOM (@LIDOMRD) January 19, 2018
I suggest watching the whole thing just to soak in the crowd reaction but if you want to skip ahead to the stare down/bat flip then go to the 23 second mark. The way Francisco watches the ball sail over the fence then casually tosses the bat nearly into the stratosphere is stuff of legend.
There is another replay at the 41 second mark of the video where you can view his teammates reaction from the dugout along with a better view of the height he got on that toss. It’s quite impressive.
Bravo, Mr. Francisco.
Baseball needs more of this and if you could not already tell by the name of the blog, this is something we highly endorse at all times.