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Ruben Amaro Jr.
Ruben Amaro Jr. accepts his award as the Sports Archetype at AL DÍA's Hispanic Heritage Awards Gala on Sept. 23. Photo: Peter Fitzpatrick/AL DÍA News.

Ruben Amaro Jr. honors his dad’s journey as AL DÍA’s 2022 Sports Archetype

The former Phillies player, general manager and now pre- and post-game analyst spoke candidly about the path Ruben Amaro Sr. carved in baseball.

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Ruben Amaro Jr. is paid by the word these days, so he kept it short in his acceptance speech at AL DÍA’s Hispanic Heritage Archetypes Gala, held on Friday, Sept. 23.

Amaro Jr. was this year’s Sports Archetype, and he received the honor not only for his time as a player with the Philadelphia Phillies in the 90s, but also for his long history with the organization. 

Beyond being a player, Amaro Jr. grew up around the team in the 1980s, as his dad was a coach on the team. The young Ruben was first a batboy before later playing for the team in two different stints, and then entered the organization’s front office. There, he rose all the way to become part of the management team that won the World Series in 2008.

In 2009, Amaro Jr. became general manager and led the team back to the World Series. He remained general manager until 2015. 

Now, Amaro Jr. is part of the broadcast team that brings Phillies baseball to homes across the Lehigh Valley as a pre and post game analyst with NBC Philadelphia.

In his acceptance speech on Sept. 23, Amaro Jr. looked back on that career and told the crowd gathered at the Union League that he was “very fortunate” to be in the position he is today.

“It happened only because of my ancestry,” he continued.

By “ancestry,” Amaro Jr. recognized the struggles of his dad, Ruben Amaro Sr., as the launchpad for his own life.

Ruben Sr. came to the U.S. from Cuba in the late 1950s to enter the minor league system of the St. Louis Cardinals. In doing so, he was adding to the legacy of Santos Amaro (Ruben Jr.’s grandfather), who was a baseball legend on the island and in Mexico.

“They paved the path for me,” said Amaro Jr. “I didn’t have to go through the struggles of my father, and my dad had some incredible stories about how difficult it was as a man of color going through the minor league system.”

After the Cardinals, Ruben Sr. signed with the Phillies, where he enjoyed the best years of his career. He returned to coach in 1972, rising up the minor league coaching ranks before debuting with the team during the 1980-81 season, which ended with a Phillies World Series victory.

All of that effort, allowed his son, Ruben Amaro Jr. “to live a dream.”

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