Friday, April 1, 2011

Opening Day, Toronto Blue Jays -- Arencibia

Tim Brown
March 8, 2011

Arencibia’s Climb Was Mom-approved
On a random day early last August, J.P. had called her. It was a Thursday.

“Mom,” he said, “I was called up to the big leagues. I’m leaving tomorrow.”
“Oh my God!” she shouted. “Tell me about it. When are you playing?”

“I don’t know.”

Hours later, her phone rang again. He was in Toronto.

“I bought you airline tickets. I want you here.”

He would start Saturday afternoon against the Tampa Bay Rays. He’d bat ninth and catch Jays left-hander Brad Mills(notes). She would stay in the hotel that overlooks Rogers Centre, and sit in the family section behind home plate, where moms with catchers prefer.
As J.P.’s batting turn approached, she prayed, asking that he be taken care of, that he feel strong, and maybe for a hit. She thought of her own mother, who had passed away when J.P. was at Tennessee, and she smiled to herself when she noticed a flag dangling from one of the windows of the hotel – a large orange T. She took a picture of it.

J.P. came to the plate in the second inning. On the first pitch from James Shields(notes), J.P. homered to left field. In his next at-bat, he doubled. In the next, he singled. And then he homered again.
Read Tim Brown's entire piece about Toronto Blue Jay catcher J.P. Arencibia here.

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