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Anatomy of a walk-off: Willy Adames

Everything that happened in last night’s celebration

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MLB: Baltimore Orioles at Tampa Bay Rays Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

The Tampa Bay Rays newly minted starting shortstop Willy Adames hit a walk-off for the ages last night, and boy did it go far:

Sitting fastball on a 3-1 count, Adames whalloped the next pitch 434 feet beyond the seats in left field.

What followed was a fantastic celebration. Let’s break it down:

1. The bat flip

If you’re reading this and you’re not Willy Adames, chances are you will never be as cool as Adames taking nine steps while watching the baseball fly before flipping his bat from the barrel into the air.

2. All the love

But Adames didn’t make it all about him. He immediately pointed toward his teammates and pounded his chest as he broke into a run.

3. Jake Bauers found the bat!

While Willy Adames rounded the bases, Jake Bauers retrieved the bat and began bouncing with glee alongside Mallex Smith:

Bauers and Adames are said to have a special friendship, as written about recently by Marc Topkin in the Tampa Bay Times, but also telling are Willy’s comments himself:

“I tell you the day “JB” did it, I felt like it was me. Today when I did it... it’s an amazing feeling. I have no words to explain the feeling that I have right now.”

4. Bounce the helmet

Once Adames rounds third and sees Bauers leading the bounce, he leaps into the air and slams his helmet to the dirt in a leapfrog mid-air before bounding into home plate for the powerade shower:

5. Kiss the bat

Finally, during the congratulations, Adames is presented with his bat by Bauers for the ceremonial thanking of the stick.

What a game!

As he adjusts to hitting in the majors, Adames has reportedly been working with Matt Duffy and hitting coach Chad Mottola on hitting high-octane fastballs, per The Athletic’s Juan Toribio — and clearly the hard work paid off!

The 94.8 mph pitch was batted with a 110.6 mph exit velocity. It was punished.

Ok, with that breakdown behind us, here’s the moment in full with sound:

Sorry, not that sound, THIS sound:



GIF’s by Dom