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Ruben Amaro Sr. will be recognized for becoming the 79th inductee into the Hispanic Heritage Baseball Museum Hall of Fame

The Phillies will host the 20th annual Goya Latino Family Celebration at Citizens Bank Park on Thursday, Aug. 25.

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Former Phillies’ athlete, coach and scout Ruben Amaro Sr. will be recognized Thursday, Aug. 25 for becoming the 79th inductee into the Hispanic Heritage Baseball Museum Hall of Fame during a pregame presentation at Citizens Bank Park.

The Phillies will be hosting the 20th annual Goya Latino Family Celebration at Citizens Bank Park, which will pay tribute to the Latino culture. 

Amaro Sr.’s son, Ruben Amaro Jr., will accept the award on his father’s behalf.

Prior to his father’s induction, Amaro Jr., spoke with AL DÍA to discuss a bit about his father’s life and baseball career.

“My father had a rough time playing in the states when he first signed with the St. Louis Cardinals. He could not eat at the same restaurants or stay in the same hotels as his teammates because of the color of his skin. He had hardships and he used to tell me about when teammates were and were not supportive,” Amaro Jr. told AL DÍA. “I give my dad a lot of respect for having to deal with everything and still making a career out of baseball.” 

Ruben Amaro Sr. was born in Nuevo Laredo, Tamaulipas México, on Jan. 6, 1936. His father, Santos Amaro Oliva was born in  Aguacate, La Habana, Cuba and played professional baseball in Cuba and México. His Mexican mother, Josefina Mora, played baseball, as well, yet on a women’s professional team in Veracruz, México.

Amaro Sr. played in México and attended the University of Veracruz before joining the St. Louis Cardinals. 

He began his pro baseball career with the St. Louis Cardinals in 1958 and was traded to the Phillies after that season. He joined the Phillies in 1960 and stayed with the team for six seasons under Manager Gene Mauch.

In 1964, he batted .264, with four home runs, made only 11 errors and won a Gold Glove with the 1964 Philadelphia Phillies.

Amaro Sr. played in the major leagues for 11 seasons with four teams (St. Louis Cardinals, Philadelphia Phillies, New York Yankees and California Angels).

His career fielding percentage was .969 and his batting average was .234.

In 1980, he made it to the World Series with his team as first-base coach for the Phillies under Dallas Green, beating the Kansas City Royals, four games to two, to win their first championship.

After his playing career ended in 1969, he went on to wear different hats in baseball. He worked as a scout in Latin America and the United States. He was also a major league coach and a minor league manager.

Amaro Sr. passed away on March 31, 2017 at the age of 81 in Weston, Florida.

When he enters the Hispanic Heritage Baseball Museum Hall of Fame, Amaro Sr. will become just the third player of Mexican descent to be inducted, joining Alex Treviño and Fernando Valenzuela.
Other members of the Hall include Martin Dihigo, Luis Tiant, Preston Gomez, Dickie Thon, Julio Cruz, Millito Navarro and many others.

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