Former Phillies Eric Milton, Carlos Ruiz Make ‘Hall of Fame’
Southpaw Eric Milton and 2008 World Series champion Carlos Ruiz, both former Phillies, will be inducted into separate Hall of Fames later this year.
While no former Philadelphia Phillies players will be members of this year’s National Baseball Hall of Fame class, at least two will still be inducted elsewhere later this year for their contributions to the game of baseball: left-handed starting pitcher Eric Milton and 2008 World Series champion Carlos Ruiz.
Milton, who currently is a high school baseball coach, will be inducted on October 11 into the fourth class of the Centre County Chapter of the Pennsylvania Sports Hall of Fame. Ruiz, meanwhile, will be inducted on May 30 into the Reading Fightin Phils’ Baseballtown Hall of Fame at First Energy Stadium.
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Milton, 44, played just one season in red pinstripes — 2004, the inaugural season of Citizens Bank Park. In fact, the southpaw started in just the third-ever regular season game and is the first Phillies starting pitcher to earn a winning decision at the venue. On April 16, 2004, opposite the Montreal Expos, Milton yielded just two earned runs, five hits and no walks across six innings. Overall that season, Milton led Phillies pitching in wins (14), starts (34), innings pitched (201), home runs allowed (43), walks (75), strikeouts (161) and batters faced (862).
The Phillies chose to not re-sign the State College, Pennsylvania, native, who would finish his career with the Cincinnati Reds (2005-07) and Los Angeles Dodgers (2009). The Phillies had acquired him from the Minnesota Twins, who he played six seasons for to start his career (1998-2003), in exchange for Nick Punto, Carlos Silva, and Bobby Korecky.
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Ruiz, 41, remains as a Phillies fan favorite for his significant contributions while he played in red pinstripes, particularly during the 2008 season that resulted in the franchise’s second-ever World Series championship. The Panana native started out in the Phillies’ organization as a 21-year-old, and would debut six years later as the backup to eventual Wall-of-Famer Mike Lieberthal.
Soon after “Chooch” would assume the starting role, and, across his 11 seasons as a Phillie, he slashed .266/.352/.393 with 213 doubles, 68 home runs and 401 RBI; his best season came in his only All-Star season, 2012, in which he slashed .325/.394/.540 with 32 doubles, 16 home runs and 68 RBI in 114 games.
He would finish his career with the Los Angeles Dodgers (2016) and Seattle Mariners (2017).