For most retirement ceremonies, an excellent Donruss Diamond Kings-looking portrait painted by the center fielder’s father would qualify as the best tribute.
But for Cito Gaston’s farewell in Toronto on Wednesday night, the fine work completed by Vernon Wells Sr. took a back seat to what Travis Snider(notes) and a few of his Blue Jays teammates conjured up. After an emotional pregame ceremony and before the start of Gaston’s last home game, the players used eye black to draw Cito-style mustaches on their faces.
They took the field against the New York Yankees wearing them and when Snider led off the bottom of the first inning, he channeled the power of the ‘stache for a solo shot. It was the first strike off Yanks pitcher Javier Vazquez(notes) in an 8-4 victory. It was also the team’s 245th homer of the season, a franchise record and the fifth-highest team total in baseball history.