Rockies, Dust Devils mourn fallen teammate

Jack Millikin, Herald staff writerJune 27, 2012 

Got some sad news today about Paul Bargas, a former Tri-City Dust Devils pitcher from 2009.

He died from brain cancer Tuesday at the age of 23.

Man, that’s just way too young.

I saw a re-tweet from Jeff Squier, another former Dust Devil and one-time teammate of Bargas’ at Casper in 2009, about his passing, and then I did a search of ‘Paul Bargas’ on twitter to see what others were saying.

Here’s a few of the reactions:

Learned the news of Paul Bargas' passing from brain cancer. He was 22. I called most of Paul's games with Asheville in 2010. Devastating” — Scott Armstrong.

A great person and teammate passed today from cancer at age 23 RIP Paul Bargas Jr.I won't forget the great times enjoyed together in Alaska“ — Drew Gagnier

Prayers tonight go out to the family of Paul Bargas as he is now in a better place ... Great guy and teammate that was taken way too soon“ — Kyle Hancock

You'll be in our hearts forever Paul Bargas! May you rest in peace and look over us all bud! Love you brotha! #GreatSoul“ — Eddie Orozco

Rest In Peace Paul Bargas. You were an amazing young man with a huge bright future ahead of you. Feel blessed I knew such a great young man“ — Ryan Scott

Cherish everyone in your life always, you never know how much time you have left with them. R.I.p. Paul Bargas Jr“ — Candace

He got the chance to live a dream that I always had growing up — to play professional baseball. I have to believe that made him happy.

He played two seasons after being drafted by the Colorado Rockies in the 13th round of the 2009 draft out of the University of California at Riverside. He started at Casper (Wyo.), pitching six games in the Pioneer League before moving up to the short-season A Northwest League. He finished out the season with Tri-City, and he was one of the team’s most valuable relievers.

With the Dust Devils, he appeared in 13 games and finished with a 3-1 record and a 1.59 ERA. He was at his best late in the season, going 3-0 in August while Tri-City went on to win it’s second East Division championship with a Rockies’ short-season record 47 victories.

It was a special team, and he was a big part of it.

In 2010, he played 58 games for Low-A Asheville, going 5-4 with a 3.59 ERA. After the season, he was dealt to the Minnesota Twins but sat out the 2011 season when the cancer was discovered.

On a personal note, I am often envious of the bonds that the players share in the clubhouse. A lot of those relationships are forged by neccessity. Pro baseball isn’t always as fun as it looks from a fan’s perspective. It’s a unique environment that requires loads of inner strength and the will to persevere.

That’s where the friendships come in.

Obviously, Paul left a very positive impression on the people in his life, one that won’t be forgotten. I know we can often take for granted the people in our lives, but I’m glad that Paul got a chance to share his love for baseball as well as people in the short time he had.

We’ll miss you, Paul Bargas. If there’s baseball up in heaven, I’m sure God will find a spot for a hard-throwing lefty with a big heart.

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