Really, it was a nothing deal. The Toronto Blue Jays needed some help to cover a Scott Rolen injury. The Pittsburgh Pirates had turned the page. Alex Anthopoulos, then an assistant GM, spotted Jose Bautista on the waiver wire and took it to general manager J.P. Ricciardi, who told him to get a deal done.

On Aug. 21, 2008, he did, and Ricciardi described Bautista’s acquisition this way: “I’m not trying to send the wrong message – this guy isn’t like Mike Schmidt. He’s not going to come out here and hit 40 home runs. But he’s a guy that can hit double-digit home runs for us in a spot where right now we need some help.”

Ricciardi was right about Schmidt. Bautista definitely isn’t like him. And he was right about Bautista being able to hit double-digit home runs. But boy was he wrong about Bautista’s ceiling, just like the rest of baseball. On Aug. 25, the player to be named that went to the Pirates became Robinzon Diaz, a fading never-going-to-be catching prospect. Diaz never was, and Bautista developed into a franchise icon.

The Blue Jays’ resurgence over the past decade, the end of a 21-year post-season drought, consecutive trips to the American League Championship Series, the countless memorable moments from No. 19 all trace back to that day.