Cards On The Table: Happy Birthday Ruben!
By John Stolnis
Today, February 12, is a very special day.
It is a day that should be circled on the calendar of every warm-blooded Phillies fan… nay… every warm-blooded American.
Today is Ruben Amaro‘s birthday.
Ruben Amaro 1992 O-Pee-Chee
That’s right, friends. The Phils’ GM turns 48 today.
Boy, these former Phillies players grow up so quickly, don’t they?
It seems like just yesterday we were watching a young Ruben run around the Vet outfield, throwing his body all over the lightly carpeted concrete, swinging wildly at pitches out of the strike zone, all while holding down a spot on the roster as a below-replacement-level bench player.
Ah, the memories.
Ruben Amaro 1992 Topps
And even though some of us are harboring some ill feelings toward the Phils’ GM because of some questionable moves this off-season, Amaro is one of our own.
Born and raised in northeast Philadelphia, the son of former Phillies player Ruben Amaro Sr. and a former bat boy for the Phils, Amaro is a true Phillie through and through.
Yeah, that’s right, I said TRUE Phillie. What, you think the Yankees OWN that phrase? They don’t OWN that phrase! They’re so selfish!
Ruben Amaro 1992 Upper Deck
Amaro had an eight-year playing career, taking the field for the Angels, Phillies (twice) and Indians. He only played in over 100 games in a season twice, both with the Phils (1992, 1997), and was not much of a player offensively when he did play.
|PHI (5 yrs)||421||932||821||89||196||38||9||13||86||12||79||116||.239||.313||.354||.668|
In 1051 career plate appearances, Amaro compiled only a .235 batting average and managed just a .310 on-base percentage, while slugging just .353.
Perhaps now we can see why Ruben eschews on-base skills so much. He doesn’t know what they are.
Still, Ruben managed to hang on for quite a while in the Majors, and achieved some significant milestones along the way.
He was traded to the Phillies from the Angels in 1991 along with Kyle Abbott in exchange for Von Hayes.
Hard to pick a winner on that one.
Ruben Amaro 1993 Fleer Ultra
In 1992, despite having just 374 at-bats, Ruben was third in the NL in hit-by-pitches with nine. Now THAT’S how you get on base, people!
And amazingly, shockingly, staggeringly, Amaro made the Cleveland Indians World Series roster in 1995 over Dave Winfield.
Yes, please read that again. Ruben Amaro somehow made a postseason roster that boasted one of the greatest offenses in Major League history over a future Hall of Famer.
Maybe now we know why the Indians lost to Atlanta in ’95.
Amaro learned enough during his time in the Majors to join the Phils’ front office upon his retirement and worked as an assistant for GM Pat Gillick until 2009, when, upon Gillick’s retirement, he was named GM of the team.
And he’s been doing baseball-like things for the Phillies ever since.
Ruben Amaro 1993 Topps Stadium Club
While Amaro has been raked over the coals quite a bit over the last year and half, most of which was for good, sound, baseball reasons, he is a true Phillie, and probably will be for the rest of his life.
Hopefully not doing GM-ey things forever, though.
That would be kinda bad.
HAPPY BIRTHDAY RUBEN!