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Chooch: The Underrated but Universally Loved Phillie

Carlos Ruiz comes back to Citizens Bank Ballpark tonight as a member of the Seattle Mariners. The former Phillies catcher made his debut on May 6th, 2006, and served as the lynch pin to the pitching rotations for over a decade.

Credit: Getty Images

The beloved “Chooch” was quiet early in his career, but developed a rapport with every pitcher he worked with. Ruiz worked with the greatest pitchers in Phillies history in his time behind the plate. This included Cole Hamels, Roy Halladay, and Cliff Lee. Every single one of the starters and relievers came with a different mentality, personality, and arsenal. Ruiz got the best out of all of them. 

Ruiz may have been the most important cog in the wheel during the mid 200o to 2010s reign of the Phillies, but was certainly the most underrated as a player. However, Chooch was the only one who was universally accepted by the fans out of Jimmy Rollins, Ryan Howard, Coles Hamels, Jayson Werth, and Shane Victorino. Even some soured on Chase Utley toward the end. 

Credit: Charles Krupa (AP)

Carlos Ruiz was often overlooked in the league as well, making only one all-star appearance in 2012. His quite presence on the field was matched with his dedication behind the scenes. 

The top three moments of his career couldn’t be summed up any better than Roy Halladay’s perfect game, Hamels’ no-hitter in his final game as a Phillie at Wrigley Field, and of course the world series mob at the pitchers mound. 

*Fun fact: Carlos Ruiz is tied with Jason Varitek for the MLB record of no-hitters caught with four.

  1. Roy Halladay’s perfect game vs. Marlins (May 29th, 2010)
  2. Roy Halladay’s post season no-hitter vs. Reds (October 6th, 2010)
  3. Hamels, Diekman, Giles, Papelbon combined no-hitter vs. Braves (September 1st, 2014)
  4. Hamels final game no-hitter vs. Cubs (July 25th, 2015)

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