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MLB All-Star Carlos 'Calicho' Ruiz to play for the Chiriqui Baseball team

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MLB All-Star Carlos 'Calicho' Ruiz, who is from the La Barqueta area, has announced that he will play this season for the Chiriqui team in the Panama Major league.

Yesterday he participated in a 'Pitch, Hit, and Run event for kids in David.

This should bode well for attendance in the new Kenny Serracin stadium and other rival's venues.

Some background on the athlete from Wikipedia.


Carlos Joaquín "Chooch" Ruiz[1] (born January 22, 1979) is a Panamanian professional baseball player who is a free agent. He has played in Major League Baseball (MLB) for the Philadelphia Phillies, Los Angeles Dodgers and Seattle Mariners. He grew up in David, Chiriquí, Panama, and resolved to play Major League Baseball after his father and grandmother both died within two weeks of each other when he was seven years old.[1] He made his way through the Phillies farm system from 1998 until 2006, playing at each level of Minor League Baseball, until finally making his debut with the Phillies in 2006, fulfilling his childhood dream.[1] He battled adversity in his progression through the system, including feeling homesick, a position change,[1] and the language barrier (he spoke Spanish, while most teammates and team officials spoke English).

He spent his first full season in the major leagues in 2007 and has remained there since. In 2008, for his strong postseason performance, including a walk-off hit, during the Phillies playoff run that concluded with victory in the 2008 World Series, he earned the nickname "Señor Octubre" (Mr. October). Despite being one of the quietest players on the team, he was subsequently called the "heart and soul" of the Phillies; he serves as a constant source of encouragement and rebuke alike to his teammates. Over the following seasons, he was a part of the core group of players that led the Phillies to five consecutive playoff appearances from 2007 until 2011. He had his best season in 2012, holding a batting average of over .300, earning his first appearance in the Major League Baseball All-Star Game, and finishing in the top 30 of the National League Most Valuable Player voting. In 2013, he began the season with a 25-game suspension for using Adderall, and subsequently spent time on the disabled list, ultimately playing in fewer than 100 games for the first time in his MLB career.

Ruiz is the only player in the history of the National League to catch four no-hitters, and one of only two catchers in Major League Baseball, the other being Jason Varitek.[1]

Early life

Ruiz grew up in David, Chiriquí, Panama, and was the oldest of three sons. His father was a police officer and his mother was an elementary school teacher. When he was seven years old, his father Joaquin was patrolling in his police jeep when a tire blew out, causing the vehicle to flip, throwing Joaquin into a ditch, and then crushing him when it fell on top of him. Just weeks before, his grandmother died of cancer. As a result, Ruiz became "the new father", starting work shortly thereafter as a laborer on a coffee farm to supplement the family income, and by age 10 was earning about US$3 per day. He also promised his widowed mother that he would make it to Major League Baseball to support the family.[2] Subsequently, he began attending college to earn a degree in physical education, but dropped out shortly after he began to attend the Phillies baseball academy.[3]

Ruiz's upbringing contributed to his approach to the game. His mother insisted that he excel academically, and would not allow him to play baseball unless he did well in school. Baseball was his first love, and he was responsible for organizing the community's games:

"Ruiz's natural leadership skills flourished. As a boy, Ruiz, who had chosen to play with baseballs instead of toy cars even as a toddler, was always the one in his neighborhood to organize pickup baseball games. It was he who brought the balls and bats, and it was he who picked the teams and ordered everyone to their positions. He had an acute understanding of the game. Ruiz was made to lead, and playing catcher eventually suited him perfectly."

— The making of an All-Star catcher by Jorge Arangure, Jr., ESPN.com, August 2, 2012[

more at



Edited by Keith Woolford
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I come from a baseball family. My brothers coached, and both of their sons went to college on baseball scholarships. One went on to coach at the collegiate level and currently serves as pitching coach for Alabama. When I told them I was moving to Panama, they asked where in Panama. When I told them Boquete, which is near David, all four said, "That's where Carlos Ruiz is from!"  Nothing about the canal, the wildlife, the beaches, the mountains, etc. Just baseball.

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One of the many things I like about Panama is that it is a baseball country; preferring baseball over soccor as does Cuba and the Dominican Republic. I tell my guests that Panama appears to have 3 "B" sports -- baseball, boxeo, and bicycling.

Can hardly wait until the stadium is open in David. I think the grand opening is in March of this year.

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