Video: See Mississauga slugger show off new home run trot in playoff game against Yankees

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Published October 17, 2022 at 1:25 pm

Naylor home run trot
(Photo: Cleveland Guardians Twitter)

Mississauga slugger Josh Naylor has become known for his exuberant home run celebrations this season as a member of Major League Baseball’s Cleveland Guardians.

Last night (Oct. 16) in Cleveland, the 25-year-old first baseman/outfielder did his thing on the national/international stage in Game 4 of the American League Division Series between the Guardians and New York Yankees.

Serving as designated hitter in Sunday’s contest, Naylor unveiled a new celebratory trot-around-the-bases after taking Yankees’ ace Gerrit Cole deep in the bottom of the fourth inning. The solo homer brought Cleveland to within a run at 3-2 in a game the New Yorkers went on to win 4-2 to tie the best-of-five series at two games apiece.

The deciding game goes tonight (Oct. 17) in New York.

After his blast, Naylor, a graduate of Mississauga’s St. Joan of Arc Secondary School, began to demonstrably rock his arms back and forth as if cradling a baby as he rounded the bases. The unique celebration garnered plenty of attention from a national and international TV audience in the U.S. and elsewhere, most of whom were previously unaware of the slugger’s passionate and excitable playing style.

During the TBS broadcast, on-air dugout reporter Lauren Shehadi reported that Guardians’ pitcher Triston McKenzie had told a colleague the meaning behind Naylor’s rock-the-baby homer trot.

As the story goes, Naylor believes himself, in jest of course, to be the “dad” of any pitcher off whom he slugs a home run.

“When he homers off people, he calls them his son, hence the rocking the baby as he runs around the bases staring at Cole, his son, in this instance,” Shehadi said on the broadcast.

TBS play-by-play personality Bob Costas then chimed in, clarifying that Naylor’s antics were, essentially, a new version of “I’m your daddy.”

Naylor, six-for-27 at the plate with a home run and three RBIs so far this post-season, has entertained his teammates and Guardians’ fans alike all season long with his sometimes excessive home run celebrations, both while rounding the bases and when back in the dugout.

In June, after hitting a walk-off homer against Minnesota, the 5-foot-11, 250-pound left-handed slugger was greeted outside the dugout by a helmet-wearing team manager Terry Francona. The manager was protecting himself from the inevitable head-butt coming his way from the young slugger.

Earlier this month, some MLB history was made in Cleveland when Naylor and his younger brother, Bo Naylor, a catcher, were in the starting lineup together against the Kansas City Royals.

Josh hit cleanup that game with Bo hitting right after him in the No. 5 spot in the batting order.

Bo Naylor, the club’s third catcher this post-season, has yet to get an at-bat during the playoffs.

Josh Naylor finished the 2022 regular season hitting .256 with 20 homers, 79 RBIs and six stolen bases.

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