The unsung hero of the best era of Philadelphia Phillies baseball will be getting some recognition this May.
The Reading Fightin Phils have announced that former catcher Carlos Ruiz will be inducted into their Baseballtown Hall of Fame on May 30. The Fightins say Ruiz, known affectionately by fans as “Chooch,” will be present for the induction ceremony that will take place before their game against the Akron RubberDucks that begins at 6:45 p.m.
Ruiz played for the then-Reading Phillies in 2003 and 2004. He became known as a legitimate prospect in 2004, when he hit 17 home runs with an OPS of .822 before being selected to play in the Arizona Fall League.
He made his major-league debut with the Phillies in 2006. After solidifying himself as a starter, Ruiz would eventually become a core piece of a team that won National League East titles from 2007-2011 and the 2008 World Series championship.
Ruiz was known for his tremendous work and chemistry with his pitching staff. Various pitchers gave him a great amount of credit for his role in their success. Ruiz handled the 2011 rotation that some called the “Four Aces.” Headed by Roy Halladay, Cliff Lee, Cole Hamels and Roy Oswalt, the collection of these pitchers and Ruiz helped lead the Phillies to a franchise-record 102 wins.
His work with pitchers helped Ruiz catch four no-hitters in his career, which is tied with Jason Varitek for most in MLB history. He was behind the plate for Halladay’s perfect game and postseason no-hitter in 2010. Ruiz caught a combined no-hitter in 2014 thrown by Hamels, Jake Diekman, Ken Giles and Jonathan Papelbon. He then caught Hamels’ no-hitter in 2015.
The catcher played in 11 seasons as a Phillie before he was dealt to the Los Angeles Dodgers in August of 2016. He would play one more year with the Seattle Mariners in 2017 but has not signed with a team since.
Ruiz will most likely be inducted onto the Phillies Wall of Fame at some point as well, along with many others on the 2008 team. He was one of the most important players in franchise history and is deserving of that honor some day. But just like in 2004, a stop in Baseballtown will have to come first.
Tickets to Ruiz’s induction to the Baseballtown Hall of Fame are available here.
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