Jose Bautista accepts his ruby slippers from New Balance

Jose Bautista accepts his ruby slippers from New Balance

There’s no place like home-run derby. (Image: Jose Bautista’s Twitter) 

He’s already the marquee attraction on Canada’s only Major League team and baseball’s fastest rising star, and now the Toronto Blue Jays slugger Jose Bautista has been named the face of New Balance. The athletic apparel giant took to Twitter on Wednesday to announce the partnership deal, which will see Bautista wear New Balance shoes and accessories both on and off the field.

We’re pretty excited about this development (well, as excited as we can be about baseball cleats)—admittedly sporty for us—based on a glimpse of Bautista’s on-field kicks and the special commemorative shoes he’ll be wearing at Monday’s home-run derby (they’re basically the sportswear equivalent of Dorothy’s ruby slippers).The New Balance deal is the latest move in what is sure to become Bautista’s quest to become Toronto’s most sponsored athlete (if he isn’t already), since last week Bautista—also known by his self-appointed alias Joey Bats—shattered the all-time record for all-star votes, with 7.4 million. Since New Balance seems to think Bautista can handle a vibrant red shoe, we’re anticipating an inked deal with Christian Louboutin in the near future, and if that fails, there’s always Wheaties.