It’s been a while since Edwin Encarnacion took his parrot for a walk, and baseball hasn’t been the same.
The Dominican slugger was known for his big bat — 424 career homers, with nearly 1,300 RBI — but it was the home run trot he adapted late in his career that really endeared him to fans.
Encarnacion would circle the bases with one arm up at shoulder height, as if he had an imaginary parrot perched on his arm.
The gimmick started in 2012, when the then-Toronto Blue Jays masher hit a grand slam, and continued until he retired in 2020 after 16 seasons in the majors. In 2019, his Yankees teammates even bought him a colorful plush parrot that would greet him in the dugout after the DH homered.
But Encarnacion’s career was more just about fun showmanship. He was a feared right-handed force in any lineup he graced, from the Cincinnati Reds, where he made his debut in 2005, to the Blue Jays, where he spent eight seasons during his prime after a trade with the Reds.
Encarnacion hit at least 30 home runs in eight different seasons as a first baseman, third baseman and DH. He finished his career with a .260 batting average, 424 home runs, and 1,261 RBIs.
The three-time All-Star was a dominant force at the plate even at the tail end of his career, when he had short and successful stints with Cleveland, the Yankees, the Mariners and the White Sox primarily as a DH and pinch-hitter, giving fans plenty of opportunities to “see” the imaginary parrot nicknamed Edwing.
Three-time All-Star (2013, 2014, 2016)
Led the American League in RBIs in 2016 with 127
Hit more than 30 HR eight times
Twice hit 42 homers in a season
Hit three home runs in a single game in 2013
Recorded his 400th career home run on May 12, 2019, while playing for the Seattle Mariners
Played in six postseasons, helping lead the Blue Jays to back-to-back ALCS appearances in 2015 and 2016