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Carlos Ruiz’s team has reached the championship round of the Panama Beisbol Mayor 2019


Carlos Ruiz is one of the most popular players in Phillies history. (Derik Hamilton/Icon Sportswire)

The Philadelphia Phillies will host retirement nights this summer for Chase Utley, Ryan Howard and Jimmy Rollins, three of the key cogs on their 2008 World Series team. But given that Carlos Ruiz hasn’t played since 2017 – meaning the now-retired Utley has played more recently than him – it seems strange that the Phillies don’t have an evening planned to honor the man that caught the winning pitch of the 2008 World Series.

But perhaps that’s because the man who Philadelphia affectionately referred to as “Chooch” doesn’t consider himself retired.

Angel Ibo Castillo, a color commentator and play-by-play announcer on Phillies Spanish broadcasts, tweeted out a video Wednesday morning of Ruiz hitting a game-tying blast for Chiriqui in against Herrera in Game 6 of the semi-finals of the Panama Beisbol Mayor 2019:

Ruiz – whose nickname in Panama is “Calicho” – helped Chiriqui to defeat Herrera 6-1 in Game 7 of the semifinals of the Panama Beisbol Mayor 2019 Wednesday evening. Chiriqui, with Ruiz on their team, won the 2018 Beisbol Mayor, and per Castillo, is looking to win their 15th championship in franchise history. Ruiz, now 40, has hit north of .350 in the tournament.

A lock to be a Phillies Wall of Famer in the future, Ruiz was traded by the Phillies to the Los Angeles Dodgers in August of 2017, eventually helping the Dodgers to reach the World Series for the first time since 1988. After the 2018 season concluded, Ruiz was traded to the Seattle Mariners, where he hit .216 in his final major league season. No team signed Ruiz ahead of the 2018 season, though he never officially retired either.

Philadelphia last saw Ruiz in July of 2018, when he returned to Citizens Bank Park for the Wall of Fame induction of his good friend, the late Roy Halladay. Ruiz, who caught a perfect game and playoff no-hitter from Halladay – who will be inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame this August – unveiled Halladay’s Wall of Fame plaque in Ashburn Alley. After pulling the cover of the plaque, he touched his fingers to his lips and then to the plaque, as if to give his friend a kiss.

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