Although, as the whole gist of this blog is, once a Cub, always a Cub (and Arrieta certainly fits the bill), It was somewhat odd to see #OnceaCubAlwaysaCub on twitter yesterday. It wasn't trending or anything but once I saw it, I clicked on it and saw dozens of posts with it. Although for me, Arrieta is one that should go without saying. Two no-hitters, a Cy Young Award, an All-Star selection, a Silver Slugger, a World Series Championship and that 2015 Wild Card game in Pittsburgh will easily cement your place in Cubs lore.
We all kind of knew it was coming but I think more than a few Cubs fans were hoping for a surprise Dexter Fowler-like Spring Training return. That would have been a stacked rotation.
Arrieta was the first active player whose jersey I bought. I have 8 Cubs jerseys, each a different player and design. Jerseys can be a big investment so I take great care in choosing who gets added. I just listed some of his accomplishments, but he is by far the shortest tenured Cub in the wardrobe.
I went with the road blue as that is what I think of when I think Jake Arrieta.
The one he wore when he no-hit the Dodgers in his Cy Young 2015 season.
The one he wore in the 2015 Wild Card game, when he was dominating the Pirates so badly, they tried to take him out at the plate instead.
And the one he wore when he tossed his second no-hitter, this one in 2016 against the Reds. It's one thing to be good at home, but he dominated on the road, too.
I also have this kind of generic Fear the Beard t-shirt that I picked up along the way.
I feel like my Arrieta card collection is lacking because I do not have any relics or autographs, but maybe those prices will come down a bit.
These two Topps Now cards are among my favorites. The one on the left commemorates his second no-hitter and the other is for a bomb he hit in Game 3 of the NLDS in 2016. That was the only game the Cubs lost in that series, in extras to boot, but that was more on the bullpen than him. Note the blue jerseys?
I've always been partial to the 1991 Topps Desert Shield set so when Topps recreated it in 2016 Archives, I scooped up the Arrieta. Again, trademark blue jersey.
It took a true team effort for the Cubs to pile on the runs in Arrieta's 16-0 no hitter so it is only fitting to be recognized in a group celebration shot in 2016 Topps Update.
Arrieta also penned an amazing goodbye note to Chicago and posted it on Twitter. The Cubs are built with a next man up mentality so I don't see this as the potential dynasty crashing down, but it certainly is the end of an era. And it doesn't make it any less sad. Thanks for everything, Jake!— Jake Arrieta (@JArrieta34) March 13, 2018