BROWSE Jose Bautista The baseball from Jose Bautista’s bat-flip home run has been sold for more than $28,000 at auction.Bidding on the ball from Bautista’s three-run homer in Toronto’s wild 6-3 victory over the Texas Rangers in Game 5 of the 2015 American League Division Series closed on Friday with a flurry of last minute bids within the final hours.The price rose from the reserve bid of US$3,500 on Jan. 4 to more than US$14,000 four weeks later.In the final hour of the auction, the final four bids pushed the selling price from US$16,081 to US$28,252.80 – or almost $37,000 Canadian.The final bid ended up being US$23,544 but under rules of the auction, anyone who submitted a bid on the ball before that 10 p.m. deadline was entitled to re-bid in a 30-minute exclusive window.“We were really surprised by the price on this one,” Lelands co-founder Josh Evans told CityNews.“It was mostly Canadians bidding,” said Evans. “I think there was a certain patriotism to it.”Evans would not disclose the name of the winning bidder, saying only “the eventual buyer was Canadian.”That is good news for the anonymous Canadian consignor who was hoping the ball would stay north of the border.“When it gets to that high-dollar amount, I hope there’s somebody in Canada that sees the importance of it being here,” said the spokesperson for the small group that owns the ball. “We made the decision to take some of the money and make a donation to Robbie Alomar’s foundation. We want to keep the ball safe here and if not, we’re going to give some money to them and let them do what they do.“But I hope a big business or a big CEO steps up and buys it and puts it on display for the fans. That’s what we really want. We want it to come back here and let the fans see it.”Bautista’s seventh-inning home run won the ALDS for Toronto and became entrenched in Blue Jays lore when it was punctuated by his notorious bat flip.The now famous bat is kept in a glass case in Toronto’s clubhouse in a foyer between the manager’s office and the players’ locker-room. The bat was on display for fans to see at the Blue Jays WinterFest that was held Jan. 19 and 20 at Rogers Centre, but the ball’s location remained private until it went up for auction on Jan. 4.Alomar’s Foundation 12 helps youth baseball players in Canada with financial assistance, program support, and educational opportunities. Alomar, who was the second baseman for Toronto’s World Series championship teams in 1992 and 1993, is the only player to wear a Blue Jays cap into the Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, N.Y.“(Foundation 12) does some amazing work with young people in baseball, special needs people,” said the consignor. “Robbie was the greatest Blue Jay of all time, he’s a Hall of Famer, he’s a wonderful guy, we know him a little bit just from being at different events.“They do some amazing work.”Bautista is currently a free agent after leaving Toronto in 2017 and playing for the Atlanta Braves, New York Mets and Philadelphia Phillies in 2018. His 288 home runs are second all-time in Blue Jays franchise history behind Carlos Delgado’s 336.