On the day Aaron Loup debuted in the big leagues, this was the Toronto Blue Jays‘ starting lineup:

Brett Lawrie, 3B
Colby Rasmus, CF
Jose Bautista, RF
Edwin Encarnacion, 1B
Adam Lind, DH
Yunel Escobar, SS
Kelly Johnson, 2B
Rajai Davis, LF
J.P. Arencibia, C

Loup remembers July 14, 2012 well — the excitement of being called in to make his debut, the relief he felt after a three-up, three-down inning and his surprise when then-manager John Farrell asked him for three more outs. He remembers those teammates, too, but none of them are with him in the Blue Jays’ clubhouse this spring.

Yes, Aaron Loup is now the longest-tenured Blue Jay, and has been since Bautista hit free agency last fall.

"I’m still trying to wrap my head around it," Loup said. "It’s kind of crazy, but I think it’s pretty special. To be drafted by the Blue Jays, come up through the system and stay here long enough to be the longest-tenured guy is pretty cool."

When the Blue Jays drafted him in 2009, J.P. Ricciardi was still the general manager. The team wore black uniforms and averaged 23,162 fans per home game. At the time, the odds of a ninth-round pick lasting this long would have seemed slim, but Loup has provided the Blue Jays with years of value as a side-arming, ground-ball inducing lefty.