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Blue Jays revive home run jacket celebration

Toronto Blue Jays home run ticket Toronto Blue Jays home run jacket - Getty Images

The Toronto Blue Jays brought back their home run jacket celebration in Wednesday’s victory over the Chicago White Sox.

Bo Bichette hit a two-run home run to cap off Toronto’s seven-run second inning in the 9-2 win and was greeted by Jose Berrios at the top step of the dugout with the jacket, the first time since the garment has been seen 2022 season.

The new jacket features a Canadian flag on the right sleeve and the names of the home countries of Blue Jays players and staff on the back, similar to the style of the previous jacket. The new garment also had the Toronto skyline on the bottom and the words ‘The Blue Jacket’ on the left sleeve.

“Kind of a collective effort,” manager John Schneider said during an in-game interview when asked about the jacket’s return.

“This is up to the players. I think that players need to own what they want to do, and you’ve got to have fun doing it. At the same time, this is our job, players seem to gravitate when they have something to grasp onto together, whatever it is. I talked to a few of the guys about a week ago, whether it’s a jacket, whether it’s a bath robe, you know? Whatever it takes to get the guys going.”

“Pretty cool it was [Bichette] for the first time,” Schneider added.

The jacket first appeared in July of 2021 and was presented to home run hitters throughout the remainder of that season and 2022. Schneider said his team would retire the celebration prior to the 2023 campaign.

“I think the overall message, whether it’s putting a jacket on or doing something in the dugout, we want to celebrate more than just home runs. We want to focus on catching the ball. We want to focus on getting on base. Things like that. It’s totally up to the players," he said last March

The Jays have struggled on offence so far in 2024, having scored the second fewest runs in baseball (182) through 48 games. Toronto also sits near the bottom of the league in team OPS (.671), home runs (40) and slugging percentage (.363).

Wednesday’s nine runs were tied for the second highest run total the Jays scored all season, matching their output from Monday’s 9-3 victory over the MLB-worst 15-win White Sox. The Blue Jays’ highest scoring game came in a win over the Minnesota Twins earlier this month.

"Whether it's a jacket, whether it's a handshake, whether it's a red carpet, whatever it is, you need to have something that just unifies everybody," Schneider said after the game. "I thought it was cool that they broke it out today."