27 Jun

He was born on January 22, 1979 in Panama.  His father died when he was only 7 years old and he made a child’s promise to his mother:  “Don’t worry, I will play in the big leagues one day. I will take care of the family.”

After another 3-hit game, Carlos Ruiz woke up this morning as the leagues’ leading hitter, batting  .361.


At the age of 10, Carlos began working in the coffee fields trying to earn money to help feed his family but he knew he would need a lot more money than picking coffee beans could ever earn him.  

Last night, Ruiz had three hits for the second game in a row.  It was his 11th 3-hit game of the season.


When he was 19, Carlos was drafted by the Phillies in the amateur draft.  He was considered a long shot and was paid eight thousand dollars.  Although, he had always  been a second baseman, he was told he was too slow to play his natural position, and the Phillies converted him to catcher.  At the time, it was not an easy transition and he came very close to quitting and returning to Panama.

Carlos Ruiz hit his 10th home run last night, a long blast that set a new career high for the Phils catcher, with more than half a season still to go.  Oh yeah, it also turned out to be the winning run.


In 2004, Ruiz was called up to the Double A Reading Phillies.  Although he was adjusting to the catcher position, he wasn’t having much luck with the bat. 

Not only did he contribute with his bat last night, his defense did the job as well.  He cut off a run at the plate after a great throw by John Mayberry in the seventh and caught a ball that looked uncatchable behind the pate for a critical out in the eighth.


He improved his batting average to .284 in his second year in Triple A.  At age 25, he was considered as a possible back-up catcher for the big club with strong defense but a weak bat.  And in 2006, after 8 long years in the Phillies farm system, he was finally called up to the majors and inserted into the eight hole of the Phillies lineup, the spot normally held by the team’s weakest hitter.

This year, Ruiz is having the season of his life batting .361 with 17 doubles , 41 RBI and 35 runs scored.  He is now batting cleanup for the Phillies, the spot in the lineup for the big guns, for the guy depended upon to bring in the runs.


Although there is much excitement about the expected return of Chase Utley tonight and Ryan Howard after the All-Star break, the fact that the Phillies are even remotely still in the race this year, is due primarily to one man.  He’s the second baseman turned catcher from Panama, the long shot to be a back-up major league catcher, the kid who made a promise to his mother over 25 years ago now, the man the fans and his teammates have come to love, whose nickname rings through the crowd whether his team is at home or on the road.  The man we simply call



10 Responses to “Chooooooooooch”

  1. Chuck Forer June 27, 2012 at 11:54 am #

    With Chase returning to the lineup, the question is what can we realistically expect from him at the plate? My guess: he will bat .250 and have little power (maybe 8 to 10 home runs tops by the end of the season). Naturally, I hope he proves me wrong . . . . Plus of course he brings several intangibles to the clubhouse and is outstanding in the field.

  2. Shirley June 27, 2012 at 2:16 pm #

    Thanks Sue….I RALLY enjoyed reading Chooooooooooooch’s bio !!!!!!

  3. Ron Cori June 27, 2012 at 4:08 pm #

    Love this article, and love Choochie! The Spannish broadcasts of his home runs are priceless. CHHOOOOCHIEE!!!!

    • girlsbestphriend June 29, 2012 at 8:24 pm #

      I love that Spanish guy. He has a show on WIP I think on Sunday nights.

  4. Jim Mullen June 27, 2012 at 7:23 pm #

    Read SCD’s forthcoming biography, “CHOOCH OR DARE” due out on Penguin Press in 2013.

  5. Holly June 27, 2012 at 11:09 pm #

    I hope Chooch’s mom is still around and able to enjoy her son’s success! Great entry.

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