Phillies: Ruben Amaro Jr. remembers late ‘Irish’ Mike Ryan

A general view Pennant flags flying over Citizens Bank Park (Photo by Rob Tringali/SportsChrome/Getty Images)
A general view Pennant flags flying over Citizens Bank Park (Photo by Rob Tringali/SportsChrome/Getty Images) /

Former Phillies GM Ruben Amaro Jr. remembers the late ‘Irish’ Mike Ryan

The Philadelphia Phillies family learned on Friday the passing of their longtime former player and bullpen coach, “Irish” Mike Ryan.

Former Phillies general manager Ruben Amaro Jr. said Saturday evening on WFAN that “Irish” was someone who could brighten your day, “every single day, always with a smile.”

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“[He had the] best suntan in all of organized baseball,” Amaro Jr. joked. “He came out very early to get his sun. He was a northeast guy; New Hampshire guy. … He was really a great teammate, a great foxhole guy.”

Ryan was a member of the organization’s first-ever World Series championship team and served in that role until 1995. In helping the Phillies reach the World Series in 1980, 1983, and 1993, Ryan is the only person in franchise history to coach in three World Series. Also, he is the second-longest tenured coach in franchise history, trailing only his former teammate, the late John Vukovich (17 years, 1988-2004).

Phillies Chairman Emeritus Bill Giles calls Ryan “one of the more underrated people in Phillies history,” adding, “his tenure was marked by three World Series appearances and he was a very popular presence in our clubhouse for many years.”

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Amaro Jr. said he knows his dad, Ruben Amaro Sr., likewise had a great deal of respect for Ryan. Amaro Sr. was the Phillies’ first base coach under Dallas Green in 1980 and 1981; Ryan’s first of several years as bullpen coach began that same year, when the team went all to way to capture its first World Series championship.

Amaro Sr. and Green passed away within days in late March 2017.

“[Ryan was] just a real special person just in general; a real team player and somebody that you love being around,” Amaro Jr. continued. “That’s one of the reasons why he did so well in his role as a bullpen coach.”

“[That is a] pretty special and kind of an isolated job at times; you got to be a pretty special person to be able to do that. He was certainly that.”