Celebrity 360: Jose Bautista

Each week at Notable.ca, we feature a different celebrity who embodies what we consider the four main pillars of a Notable lifestyle. These include a thriving professional career, an active and healthy social life, charitable support and involvement, and a general balanced life well lived. With the Blue Jays energy back from hibernation this week, we thought it only natural to begin with a member of Canada’s beloved baseball team.

The Toronto Blue Jays kicked off the season Monday night and the city was buzzing about 31-year-old home run king and outfielder José Antonio Bautista. Dominican Republic native Bautista set a single-season franchise record in the 2010 season by hitting a major league leading 54 home runs. In 2011, he lead the major leagues again with 43 home runs, making him the first player to earn two consecutive home run titles since Mark McGwire did in both the 1998 and 1999 seasons. Last July, Bautista set the all-time Major League record (set by Ken Griffey Jr. in 1994) for the most All-Star votes received by a single player through fan balloting, with 7,454,753 votes. He shows no signs of slowing down any time soon.

Bautista is known as a team player and has been vocal about lending his support to other athletes who have been traded. He attends many events back home in the Dominican Republic, especially those that encourage athleticism and athletic opportunity among natives. He recently attended a dinner hosted by Dominican Rebublic President Leonel for Dominican baseball players and remained calm, composed and confident when he was praised for his success and then asked how many times he had been tested for performance-enhancing drugs.

Like many major league baseball players support their home country through charitable action, Jose Bautista is no exception. He is currently teaming with the NCAA to recruit Dominican student athletes. He is also vocal about his partnership with New Balance, saying “I am thrilled to be a part of the New Balance family and enjoy working with a group that is as passionate as I am both on and off the field.” He is also an active participant in Blue Jays charity events; he offered on-site advice to the 2011 Charity Home Run Derby contestants and golfed in last summer’s 16th Annual Charity Golf Tournament.

Bautista’s power surge of two league-leading home run seasons has been met with suggestions that this may be the result of performance enhancing drugs and he has been faced with increased testing. He had been tested nine times in 2010, the year he led the majors with 54 home runs and was tested seven times in 2011 when he hit another 43 home runs and came back negative. Accepting it as part of the game, Bautista never complains about being tested. He is vocal about his regime and active lifestyle and chose Booster Juice as his first Canadian endorsement because of what the company stands for, stating that “they are committed to helping Canadians live well with a focus on fun, fitness and great tasting, healthy products. I’m proud to wear the Booster Juice Jersey!”