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Former Blue Jays star Edwin Encarnación throws first pitch for Game 1 of AL wild-card series

Former Toronto Blue Jays slugger Edwin Encarnacion throws out the ceremonial first pitch ahead of Game 1 of the American League wild-card series between the Toronto Blue Jays and Seattle Mariners. (CP/Nathan Denette)
Former Toronto Blue Jays slugger Edwin Encarnacion throws out the ceremonial first pitch ahead of Game 1 of the American League wild-card series between the Toronto Blue Jays and Seattle Mariners. (CP/Nathan Denette)

Former Toronto Blue Jays star Edwin Encarnación was invited to throw out the first pitch to kick off the American League wild-card series against the Seattle Mariners at Rogers Centre.

Encarnación received a raucous ovation from the crowd as he took the field before winding up and throwing a dart to Vladimir Guerrero Jr.

The Blue Jays social team teased Encarnación's appearance earlier in the day with a picture featuring a parrot plush doll, hinting at the slugger's famous celebration.

Encarnación, who played eight seasons in Toronto from 2009-16, famously raised his right arm by his side after hitting a home run, imitating that a parrot was riding with him as he circled the bases. The tradition became more notable once an actual stuffed parrot — like the one in the club’s tweet — joined the dugout.

It went on plenty of trips during the right-hander’s tenure with the Blue Jays, which included 239 round-trippers across 999 career games. One-hundred-fifteen of them occurred in front of a home crowd at the Rogers Centre.

Most notably, the parrot found its way onto the field to celebrate with the rest of the Blue Jays after Encarnación delivered a game-winning walk-off home run against the Baltimore Orioles during the 2016 AL Wild Card.

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