TORONTO – From The Edwing to walking the parrot, Blue Jays fans are creative in coming up with names for slugger Edwin Encarnacion’s home run ritual.
Encarnacion, who sticks out his bent right arm and holds it parallel to the ground as he rounds the bases, appreciates the suggestions.
“If they say I’m walking the parrot, then whatever they say, I’ll take it,” he said recently.
The “walking the parrot” meme has become popular online, with Toronto baseball fans doctoring photos of him on the basepaths to add a parrot on his arm. Sometimes, appropriately, fans Photoshop a blue jay instead.
Encarnacion has been doing the so-called Edwing since April 28, 2012, when he hit a grand slam against Seattle’s Hisashi Iwakuma in Toronto’s 7-0 rout of the Mariners. He drove in Kelly Johnson, Jose Bautista and Adam Lind with the blast but all his Blue Jays teammates loved how he celebrated the home run.
“When I hit the grand slam I got excited and rounded the bases from the side, turning like an airplane,” said Encarnacion, who has helped the Jays to the top of the American League East this season. “My teammates liked it and said I should keep doing it so I’ve kept doing it.”
Encarnacion has hit 141 more home runs since then, including 34 so far this season, and walked the parrot each time. He has no plans to change his habit, either.
“If I keep hitting home runs I’m going to keep doing it,” said Encarnacion. “No superstitions, I just like to do it.”