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Carlos Ruiz surprises leukemia patient with a visit

Nov 24, 2013, 8:00 PM EDT

Carlos Ruiz AP AP

Let’s break up the monotony of off-season transactions and rumors with a feel-good story. Catcher Carlos Ruiz, who recently re-upped with the Phillies, surprised six-year-old cancer patient Aiden Riebel with a visit.

Via Paul Casella on MLB.com:

With the Saint Florian medal dangling around his neck, Aiden and his 10-year-old brother, Max, were then each given a Carlos Ruiz jersey and a baseball autographed by the Phillies catcher. Moments later, Ruiz himself — to the surprise of nearly everyone in the auditorium — emerged from a door at the back of the stage and proceeded to engage Aiden in a teary-eyed 45-second embrace.

“Sometimes things happen for some reason, but this is special that God put us all together right here,” said an emotional Ruiz. “Thanks to all the firefighters that came out and everybody else that is here and thank you for letting me be part of this.”

Aside from his skills on the baseball field, one reason the Phillies were so eager to bring Ruiz back was his community involvement. Ruiz started “Chooch’s Chicos,” designed to invite children from local Latino groups to attend Phillies games. He has also supported Philadelphia Futures, which works with lower-income students who want to attend college.

  1. thebadguyswon - Nov 24, 2013 at 8:06 PM

    Awesome

  2. goawaydog - Nov 24, 2013 at 8:27 PM

    Damn allegies.

  3. goawaydog - Nov 24, 2013 at 8:28 PM

    Damn allergies.

  4. NYTolstoy - Nov 24, 2013 at 8:56 PM

    when he invites local Latino children to games does he give out tickets? Or is it a program?

    • Bill Baer - Nov 24, 2013 at 9:07 PM

      He buys the tickets himself. From the article linked above:

      “Ruiz meets with each child individually, signs autographs and takes photographs. He purchases game tickets, T-shirts and concessions for each participant.”

      • NYTolstoy - Nov 25, 2013 at 4:23 AM

        Oh wow thanks for the notice Bill. that’s a pretty nice thing he does. Glad to hear it.

  5. aphillieated - Nov 24, 2013 at 10:28 PM

    I hope Ruiz took a translator with him lol

    • Anoesis - Nov 25, 2013 at 1:29 AM

      I’d say you’re the one needing a translator: Someone who can speak butt-head.

      • 22yearsagotoday - Nov 27, 2013 at 7:21 PM

        Cool, Beavith!

  6. wisbadgfan - Nov 25, 2013 at 1:55 AM

    well done Carlos Ruiz——congrats for being civic minded.

    It is fantastic to see a lot of ballplayers stepping up and showing their humanity and decency—-Carlos has shown by his deeds and actions that he genuinely cares for the community.

    If the Phillies decided that his great contributions played a role in resigning him to a new contract, congrats to the Phillies.

  7. lawyermalloy - Nov 25, 2013 at 5:49 AM

    Good job Carlos!

  8. umrguy42 - Nov 25, 2013 at 8:45 AM

    Great story to start a Monday morning. :)

  9. Tim's Neighbor - Nov 26, 2013 at 2:25 PM

    If Pouliot had written this article, the title would have been: Ruiz Sneaks up on Cancer-Stricken Child

  10. 22yearsagotoday - Nov 27, 2013 at 7:22 PM

    This could be the best part of sports. Nothing better than giving sick kids love.

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