Wednesday, September 7, 2016

I.O.U. - Farewell J.P.

Monday marked the end of the season for the Durham Bulls.  On Sunday night the Bulls played the Norfolk Tides and catcher J.P. Arencibia helped the team win with a home run and three RBIs.  After the game J.P. was named Player of the Game and was interviewed on field.  During that interview J.P. announced that he would be retiring from baseball following the Bulls final game Monday afternoon.

Chris over at Watching Durham Bulls Baseball wrote up an excellent piece on J.P. Monday morning that is worth a read.

I spend time in each of my articles writing about baseball, but for me there is always the baseball card side of almost each of my blog posts.  I spend a lot of time on the Durham Bulls in this space, yet my last two Farewell posts have felt a little bit incomplete simply for the fact that I did not spend much time writing about Desmond Jennings, and we are in the same spot here with J.P. Arencibia.

Arencibia has now been on the Bulls for two years and had a significant impact on the team.  Yet, I have not devoted a single post to the veteran catcher.  Last season he played 99 games with the Bulls, hit 22 home runs to lead the International League and drove in 65 runs.  After spending the first part of the season with the Leigh High Valley Iron Pigs (Phillies) he came back to the Bulls.  For the year he hit 16 home runs, 16 doubles, and 49 RBIs in 89 games.

In my 10 years living in Durham I have seen more than a few older players pass through town in hopes of reviving their careers.  Players like Kevin Witt, Chris Richard, and Dan Johnson all had a huge impacts with the Bulls and helped make them one of the most successful Minor League franchises over that time.

Many were rewarded with a cup of coffee at some point with the Rays.  J.P. was no different.  Last season he played 24 games with the Rays hitting 6 home runs in 73 plate appearances.  Sounds pretty good.  The Rays still have games this year, but it would seem that J.P. is not getting the chance to play a few in Tampa this year.

As for the baseball card side of the post.  Well, I have done a really poor job of finding J.P. cards the last two years.  I know sometimes I get cards and never write them up into a post.  That's not even the case here.  I just don't have many cards of him.  After digging through my shoeboxes of autographed cards I came up with one.....

That's it.  Usually I can come up with something good.  I don't even have the Topps Opening Day card with him and Orbit with the "J.P. Arencibia Double Dips" sign.  I don't even know where or when I got this Topps Chrome autograph.  Probably back in 2011.  

Anyway, this is not really a good Farewell post in terms of cards.  After checking out the J.P. cards that I could I own, I have come to understand that almost every cool card of his, minus a very select few, could be had for less than $5.  I am going to go ahead and say that I owe J.P., and all of the people who read this blog for cards of Minor Leaguers, a big I.O.U.  I will give you a good J.P. post with cool cards. 

1 comment:

  1. I had noticed that over the final three weeks or so of the season that he had become a little more "fan friendly". He was taking photos with fans and doing selfies, etc. especially during a rain delay several weeks ago. He was always personable but he obviously found autograph collectors to be disdainful as he would hold the Sharpie like you would see Bob Ross on a Sunday morning art lesson on PBS. I was one of many fans that got him to sign two cards after his last game of his career. Of course even in retirement, he would only sign two! Sign!