Blue Jays pitcher shares $3,000 bottle of Japanese whisky after every win

Blue Jays pitcher shares $3,000 bottle of Japanese whisky after every winBlue Jays pitcher shares $3,000 bottle of Japanese whisky after every win
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Toronto Blue Jays starting pitcher Yusei Kikuchi has introduced a new tradition to the team’s clubhouse by sharing a bottle of expensive Japanese whisky with his teammates after each win.
Key points:
  • The tradition was highlighted in several reports last week, including in interviews with MLB and Sportsnet. Kikuchi started the tradition in the 2024 season.
  • Whenever the Blue Jays win a game with him on the mound, he celebrates with his teammates by bringing out the bottle. So far, he has only celebrated twice this season, when the Blue Jays beat the New York Yankees on two occasions.
  • His choice of drink is a $3,000 bottle of the 2022 edition Spanish Oak Yamazaki Japanese whisky, brewed by the world-renowned distillery Suntory. The bottle holds significance for Kikuchi because it is the same year he signed with the Blue Jays.
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The details:
  • Speaking to MLB, Kikuchi noted that everyone on the team is free to join him to celebrate. Admitting that the bottle is expensive, he said he does not mind buying it and added, “Hopefully, a few more wins come our way so I can keep buying.”
  • One of the Blue Jays members whom Kikuchi had the honor of sharing a glass of whisky with was 31-year-old designated hitter Daniel Vogelbach.
  • Vogelbach told MLB that, while he never had it before, he thinks that the Yamazaki is “really, really good.” He added, “It’s always cool when someone has something like that, especially coming from Japan when they’re excited to show you and let you try.”
  • Meanwhile, Kikuchi assured fans in an interview with Sportsnet’s Hazel Mae that he does not drink much during the season. He only brings out the bottle when the team wins while he is pitching.
  • Interestingly, Kikuchi’s interest does not lie in hard liquor but in books. He shared with MLB that he reads over 200 books a year, an activity he enjoys during the offseason, slow mornings and flights with the team. His go-to genres are mostly psychology, biography and baseball.
About the drink:
  • Yamazaki is a Japanese whisky produced by Suntory, known for its quality and high prices. Even its cheapest bottle, a 12-year-old edition, can fetch as much as $370.
  • One of the most expensive bottles of the Yamazaki, a 55-year-old bottle, was sold in 2022 for $603,000.
  • Suntory was founded by Shinjiro Torii on the outskirts of Kyoto, Japan, in 1923 and is considered as the oldest malt whisky distillery in Japan.
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