Amaro Sr., Gold Glove Phillies shortstop, dies

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His son, Ruben Amaro Jr., the Phillies’ general manager from 2009-15, also played for the Phillies and is currently first-base coach for the Red Sox.

After his playing career ended in 1971, Amaro Sr. returned to the Phillies in 1972, serving in various scouting and coaching roles. He was the first-base coach when the Phillies won their first World Series in 1980 under manager Dallas Green, who died earlier this month.

Amaro became the organization’s first full-time scout in the Caribbean countries and was its Latin American coordinator from 1974-80, during which time he was involved in the signings of Willie Hernandez, George Bell, Julio Franco and Juan Samuel, among others. Amaro returned to the Phillies organization for eight years from 1999-2006 as a Minor League coordinator, scouting and player development advisor, scout and Gulf Coast League manager.

Amaro is a member of the Mexico and Cuba Baseball Halls of Fame.

“As a young fan in the early 1960s, I had the privilege of watching the amazing grace of Ruben Amaro Sr. as he played shortstop for the Phillies. Ten years later, Ruben was my professional colleague at the Phillies. He was a joy to be around because he treated people with the same special grace he exhibited fielding a ground ball,” Phillies chairman David Montgomery said. “Ruben initially worked as a scout and would periodically come to Philadelphia. We were all excited when he came to town as his personal warmth would brighten every room he entered.”

Amaro was born on Jan. 6, 1936, in Nuevo Laredo, Mexico. He began his professional baseball career in Mexico at age 18 before coming to the Major Leagues, where he made his big league debut for the Cardinals as a 22-year-old on June 29, 1958. He recorded his first hit on July 16, a double off Hall of Famer Warren Spahn of the Milwaukee Braves.

Amaro was traded to the Phillies that December, and remained with the Phillies through the 1965 season. He later played for the Yankees and Angels.

“As a baseball lifer, Ruben knew every aspect of the game,” Montgomery said. “He had a special gift for the sport and cared deeply for all of the people in it. We were blessed to know him and to love him.”

David Adler is a reporter for MLB.com based in New York. Follow him on Twitter at @_dadler. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.


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