Orioles vs. Blue Jays 6/4/11-6/5/11 (J.P. Arencibia bat!)

So as I talked about on the blog for Friday’s game, I was hoping that on Saturday I would be able to meet up with J.P. Arencibia to return his first career grand slam ball to him, and *hopefully* get something in return.

Well, here goes.

I tweeted at Arencibia when I got home from the game, and got an e-mail the following morning:

Followed by a direct message:

So there it was.

At batting practice that day, I snagged one ground rule double during Orioles BP, and as soon as the Jays started hitting, I jolted over to the Jays dugout.

Arencibia was in the first group, so as I waited for him to finish, Zevi (welcome home from Israel!) took this photo of me with the ball:

When we saw J.P. finish hitting and walking to the dugout, I shouted to him that I had the ball.  Right then, the usher let me down into the area by the dugout, I handed the ball of to J.P.:

And as he took it and I said congrats, he said “hold on, I want to go get you a bat.” Um, okay!

So he went off:

And came back with a gorgeous new bat.  Black, shiny, and brand spankin’ new.  I had a silver sharpie on me (thank you Tim for randomly having bought them that day and lending it to me!), so he signed it beautifully by the engraved name:

And I got a picture with him (at an awkward angle sorta):

I thanked him a ton and congratulated him again, Then he went off to do catcher stuff.

I got a few more pics with the bat:

And one of Zevi with it, thanking him for taking all the photos while this happened:

Then, with all the ushers eyeing me, I had to go to fan assistance to turn the bat in.  They make you do that, then pick it up at the end of the game.  The whole “it could be used as a weapon” thing.

Since it was Zevi’s first game back, and we both had gotten a baseball (and hell, a bat!), we decided to go chill down the 3B line and talk to Tom the security guy and just hang out.

So… I randomly got my picture taken with Luis Perez:

And Frank Francisco (laughing. He was being hilarious right before the picture, making some funny poses):

Plus, it was getting pretty crowded in LF anyways:

When Arencibia came out to warm up, I thanked and congratulated him again:

And then chilled in left field during the game.  I just remember wanting the game to end so I could go get my bat asap.

And I did.

Here it is:

When I got back to my apartment and took those photos, I couldn’t help but sit there and hold it for a while.  It is a glorious object.

Then Sunday came.  I went to the game late.  I knew it was Little League Day so there’d be no BP and I’d probably get shut out since the last two days, no Jays players threw pre-game.

But whaddya know.  Corey Patterson (high socks-less) and Rajai Davis were throwing:

And I got Rajai to toss me the ball afterward.

Chilled on club level with Zevi, Segev (and his brother), Matt, Matt G (and friends).  In the shade.  It was nice.  And not in foul ball area, mainly because both lineups were all righties and we were on the 3B side, but we didn’t care.  Was a relaxing day.

And I dropped my spoon eating ice cream, so instead, ate it with a soft pretzel:

That was the excitement of the day.

That, and the nuns Tim and I spotted pre-game:

Along with this guy in an Orioles Laird shirt (LOL):

Oh, and Tim sat out in CF (LF was packed) and got screwed by both Adam Lind HRs that were right near him but in clumps of people that he couldn’t get into.  Almost got shut out, but I was happy to hear he did get an ump ball after the game.

Mazel tov.

Oh, and the Orioles lost.  So they only got Saturday’s win in the series. Woo.  We won’t talk about the Mark Reynolds grand slam I should have had on Saturday.  Now THAT would have been a news story.



  1. Zack Hample

    That IS a glorious object. Many many congrats. Well deserved. Sometimes, as you know, these exchanges end badly, but it sounds like you and J.P. both handled things perfectly.

    • 2131andbeyond

      Being my first major catch ever (and I don’t really expect a multitude more…), I wasn’t really going to ask for much, just went with the flow. And it worked out beautifully. What a “mench”. Heh, going with the Jewish terminology there for ya.

  2. Michael

    I agree with Orange, awesome story. You always hear about one side or the other being rude, but you both handled this with class. It was a good read.

    • 2131andbeyond

      Knowing a few major leaguers and a bunch of minor leaguers, I know that these types of things, like that baseball, mean a lot to these guys, stars or not. So I knew I wanted to get it to him no matter what.

  3. Emma

    Congratulations on being featured! Great story! So did you sleep with the bat? lol. Hey I would have been as excited bout as you.

  4. fallingleaves02

    Awesome story! Thanks for sharing. It’s so cool that he took good care of you for giving him the Grand Slam ball. It’s awesome when players are nice like that offer to give fans something in return… even better that it was unexpected. It was something hoped for, like you said, but still unexpected.

  5. Pingback: What’s up, MLBlogs world?! « 2131 and Beyond

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