Philadelphia Phillies: Top five moments from the first half of 2017
By John Town
No. 3: Carlos Ruiz returns to Philadelphia
May was a rough month for the Phillies as a whole with few wins coming that month. However, there was one bright spot when the Mariners came to Philadelphia. It marked the return of catcher Carlos Ruiz who spent 11 years in Philadelphia. He was an easy fan favorite who guided the team’s pitching staffs throughout their many playoff runs.
Mariners manager Scott Servais killed the narrative by leaving Ruiz on the bench to start the first game of the series, but Ruiz pinch-hit in the seventh inning. Just like they had for the last 11 years, the Philadelphia fans belted out the “Chooooooooooch” chant as they had so many times before.
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The next day Ruiz was in the starting lineup. He went 1-for-5 but drove in four runs. Three of those runs came on a three-RBI double that was a difference-maker in Seattle’s 11-6 win over Philadelphia. Despite the fact that it hurt their team, Phillies fans cheered for their favorite catcher anyway. Ruiz told Matt Breen of the Philadelphia Inquirer what the moment meant to him:
"“That was really emotional. I’m really happy to come back here and enjoy the ovation from the fans,” Ruiz said. “That’s something that you’re always going to remember. We don’t see that too often. Just want to say thank you to everybody for the ovation and the support. “They were so good to me throughout my career. I was so happy.”"
It was the second time the fans had celebrated a former player coming back and beating their old team. They gave Chase Utley a curtain call after he homered twice against Philadelphia when he returned last summer as a Dodger.
Most of the players from the 2008 World Series team are out of the league by now, but when they do return to Philadelphia, they receive a warm welcome – unless you’re Jayson Werth – and Ruiz was no exception in this case.