The Stuff of 2011: Brett Lawrie and J.P. Arencibia

Okay, so the Blue Jays didn't exactly win the World Series this year — they had a perfectly average season, winning exactly as many games as they lost. But there was an energy and excitement to the team that we haven't seen in a long time. And that had a lot to do with the new crop of young players taking the field at the SkyDome.

J.P. Arencibia (the one on the left) played his first game in 2010 and had one of the greatest debuts by any player in the history of baseball, with four hits and two home runs on his very first day in the big leagues. This year, he established himself as the Jays' full-time catcher, breaking the team record for the most home runs by a catcher in a single season. Off the field, his knee-weakening good looks and frequently hilarious Twitter account have quickly made him a fan favourite.

In August, Arencibia was joined by yet another impressive rookie: the Jays' new, Canadian third baseman, Brett Lawrie. The B.C. native stormed into the majors with a spectacular couple of months at end of the season — if he can keep it up, he'll turn out to be one of the best young players in all of baseball. And the fact that he did it while tearing through the league on the kind of hopped-up, adrenaline-fueled, joy-filled rampage usually reserved for a baby otter at the height of an amphetamine binge just made us like him all that much more.

Here he is getting his very first hit in Toronto (and tearing through the dugout afterwards):



You'll find the rest of our "Stuff of 2011" posts here. If there's something you enjoyed this year that you'd like to share, write something about it and email it to us at by December 21. We'll post some of our favourites.

Lawrie and Arencibia were chosen by Adam Bunch, the Editor-in-Chief of the Little Red Umbrella and the creator of the Toronto Dreams Project. You can read his posts here, follow him on Twitter here, or email him at


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