Bo Bichette gives back to his hometown, once again proves why he's the man

Toronto's shortstop is not only a standout baseball player, but also a quality human being

Wild Card Series - Toronto Blue Jays v Minnesota Twins - Game Two
Wild Card Series - Toronto Blue Jays v Minnesota Twins - Game Two / Adam Bettcher/GettyImages

Bo Bichette is a player who lets his play do the talking on and off the field. Never a person to actively seek out the spotlight, Bichette finds other ways to positively contribute on a Blue Jays club searching for leadership.

With the beginning of a new season, Bichette was making sure to spread his latest goodwill among the youth in St. Petersburg, Florida.  He hosted a Play Ball event in partnership with the St. Petersburg PAL Wildwood baseball program. Play Ball is an MLB initiative designed to encourage young baseball and softball players to participate in the game at a localized level. Baseball can be expensive and it’s hard to simultaneously organize young people, but programs like these should help grow the game among the next generation. As per’s Keegan Matheson, he was “setting up tees for hitting, throwing balls for the kids to make diving catches and handing out hitting tips, something that even other big leaguers would love to listen in on.”

Bichette made his major league debut in 2019 and has proven to be quite the hitting machine and all-around solid baseball player. His contributions off the field sometimes go unnoticed, but they aren’t any less important. A son of a prodigious former major leaguer, he recognizes the special opportunity he has to impact other people’s lives. In fact, this year is the second in which he has teamed up with the St. Petersburg PAL program in giving back to less fortunate members of his community. As told to Tampa Bay Times writer Marc Topkin, “Since I've been in high school it's always been something I wanted to help with when I came back and had the opportunity to."

He was the Blue Jays’ nominee for the Roberto Clemente Award in both 2021 and 2022. While playing in the minor leagues in 2017, he recalls his mother organizing community service events centered on helping those less fortunate. Asked to cite one of those examples he explained, "On Thanksgiving, instead of eating a ton ourselves, we go and help out at a local shelter. It's something that my mom really enjoys doing. It's really fun."

Bichette is proving that he is the example to follow with a cool and confident image. He is typically seen as a popular player among younger fans, including one lucky Blue Jays fan who reeled in quite the souvenir last season.  Who could forget him engaging in humorous commentary while interviewing teammate Vladimir Guerreo during the Home Run Derby this past season.

Another feather in his “cool guy” cap is the exemplary way in which he understands his responsibilities as a leader in a city like Toronto. In 2021 he penned a nearly 1600-word piece in the Players Tribune to broadcast his excitement in returning to Toronto after the pandemic forced the team to split their home schedule between Florida and Buffalo. From the outside, it seems like he always answers every question from the media, whether the team is struggling or performing well. A candid interview on the 'Blair and Barker' podcast recently should get fans and teammates fired up for 2024.

The Blue Jays have him under control for two more seasons.  A three-year contract inked last winter covered his arbitration years. It seemed a good sign that the parties agreed to that pact instead of going to arbitration. This is a player oozing leadership and proving that he is a solid all-around citizen and cool person. The Blue Jays will be fortunate if they can have him play his entire career in Canada.