Phillies Former Shortstop, Scout, & Coach Ruben Amaro, Sr. Passes Away

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Mar 17, 2017; Clearwater, FL, USA; Philadelphia Phillies left fielder Howie Kendrick (47), Philadelphia Phillies center fielder Aaron Altherr (23) and Philadelphia Phillies right fielder Michael Saunders (5) stand with little league baseball players during the national anthem prior to the game against the Toronto Blue Jays at Bright House Field. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports
Mar 17, 2017; Clearwater, FL, USA; Philadelphia Phillies left fielder Howie Kendrick (47), Philadelphia Phillies center fielder Aaron Altherr (23) and Philadelphia Phillies right fielder Michael Saunders (5) stand with little league baseball players during the national anthem prior to the game against the Toronto Blue Jays at Bright House Field. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports /
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Ruben Amaro, Sr. who spent time with the Phillies as a player, first-base coach, and scout passed away Friday at 81 years old.

Just a week and a half after World Series manager Dallas Green passed away, Phillies alumnus Ruben Amaro, Sr. died on Friday at 81 years old after battling a long illness. He is survived by his wife Lilia, five children – including former Phils GM and Red Sox first base coach Ruben Amaro, Jr. – and seven grandchildren.

Amaro played six seasons in Philadelphia. In 668 games, he had a .241/.315/.308 slash line. Over his entire 11-year career, Amaro played 940 games with the Phils, Yankees, Cardinals, and Angels. He racked up 505 career hits, 96 extra-base hits, and 156 RBI.

Amaro also won a Gold Glove in 1964, the year when the Phils blew a 6.5 game lead and lost the National League pennant in the last two weeks of the season. Amaro would often recount the story of how he bought $1,800 worth of World Series tickets that he never had the chance to play in.

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While he was never a star, Amaro still was well-liked by his colleagues. Sportswriter Marty Noble once wrote of Amaro: [quote via Frank Fitzpatrick of Philly.com]

"“Wherever he was, lines formed. Scouts, writers, club officials actually queued up to say hello and show reverence, appreciation and respect for the soft-spoken 75-year-old. He never was a star. . . . But he is one of the game’s great gentlemen.”"

Amaro’s biggest impact with the Phils came after his playing career. He was the Latin America coordinator from 1974 to 1980. He was integral in the signings of George Bell, Juan Samuel, and Julio Franco.

Amaro was the team’s first base coach for two seasons as well, including in 1980 with Green’s World Series team.

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Amaro is also a member of the Cuban and Mexican Baseball Halls of Fame.

Team chairman David Montgomery had the following to say about Amaro’s passing: [quote via Jim Salisbury of CSN Philly]

"“As a young fan in the early 1960s, I had the privilege of watching the amazing grace of Ruben Amaro Sr. as he played shortstop for the Phillies…Ten years later, Ruben was my professional colleague…He was a joy to be around because he treated people with the same special grace he exhibited fielding a ground ball.”"

Next: Phils Bullpen Depth Thin Heading Into Season

Amaro made quite an impact in Philadephia and he will surely be missed by all who knew him.

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