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Before Jose Bautista, there was Eduardo Perez

Perez had a batflip that would have made Jose Bautista blush

Tampa Bay Devil Rays  Photo Day Photo by Andy Lyons /Getty Images

For those of you who do not remember, Eduardo Perez spent two years with the Rays organization from 2004 to 2005. During those years, he actually provided some pretty memorable moments, like when he tore his ACL going for a triple and collapsed after rounding second, or the time the unleashed an epic batflip after clobbering a walk-off HR against the Boston Red Sox.

This was a batflip so mighty and so emphatic, you’d think that Jose Bautista was emulating his inner Eduardo Perez when he tossed the batflip heard round the world in 2015.

Back on April 22nd, 2005, the Tampa Bay Devil Rays and Boston Red Sox were kicking off what turned out to be a very eventful three game set, which ultimately culminated in two bench clearing dust-ups, but this isn’t about that, this is about Eduardo Perez and his beautiful, heart-stopping batflip that should be embedded into the mind of every Rays fan ever.

Heading into the top of the eighth inning, the Devil Rays clung to a 4-1 lead, but as they were known to do at the time, they blew it. Scott Kazmir has pitched a tremendous game, allowing a run over seven innings and then gave way to Travis Harper in the eighth.

Harper proceeded to retire one batter and allow a run on two hits, and then was taken out of the game for Danys Baez to attempt a five out save. Baez got out of the eighth quickly thanks to a double play, but then in the ninth inning, he failed to preserve a two run lead as Boston tied the game with two hits, a walk, and a sac bunt. Fortunately for the Rays, they were able to turn another inning ending double play.

Now, the moment we have all been waiting for.

In the bottom of the ninth inning, Lou Pinella called upon Eduardo Perez to pinch hit for Alex Sanchez of PED fame.

Terry Francona meanwhile brought in Alan Embree to pitch the ninth...he would throw one pitch.

That one pitch would be a 91 mph fastball that was straight down Broadway. Perez didn’t miss it, clobbering the ball for a majestic blast and uncorking an even more majestic batflip to provide the perfect punctuation for the end of the game.

Check it out again gif form.

During his two years with the Rays, Eduardo Perez slashed .246/.353/.467 with 12 HR over 90 games from 2004 to 2005. Perez’s line was good for 121 wRC+ and a .359 wOBA. His defense, however, made him below replacement level as he accrued -0.1 fWAR during his brief tenure.