Ruben Amaro Sr., who wanted to be buried in a Phillies uniform, dead at 81

Big League Stew
Ruben Amaro Sr. in 1959 as a young shortstop for the Phillies. (AP)
Ruben Amaro Sr. in 1959 as a young shortstop for the Phillies. (AP)

Ruben Amaro Sr. served the Philadelphia Phillies in many roles throughout a life in which he devoted himself to baseball. He was their shortstop for five years, their first-base coach for two seasons, including their 1980 World Series win. And he was a scout too, responsible for bringing players like Julio Franco and Juan Samuel from the Caribbean to Philadelphia.

In all, he spent 30 years with the Phillies in one job or another. He was so dedicated to the franchise that he told the Philadelphia Inquirer in 2009:

“I have a ‘P’ in the middle of my chest. I touched Richie Ashburn. I played behind Robin Roberts and Jim Bunning. I knew Steve Carlton and Mike Schmidt. I was there at the beginnings of Ryan Howard and Jimmy Rollins. I would very much like to be buried with the Phillies uniform.”

Amaro died on Friday at 81, a life-long baseball man who was born in Veracruz, Mexico but had Cuban roots. His father was a baseball player. He was a baseball player. His sons were baseball players. That includes Ruben Amaro Jr., who was Phillies GM from 2008-15 and is now a coach with the Boston Red Sox.

Amaro Sr. is in the Mexican baseball Hall of Fame and spent seven decades of his life around the game. Most recently, he worked with the Baseball Assistance Team, a non-profit that helped former baseball players who had fallen on hard times.

The death of Amaro Sr. comes a week after another beloved ex-Phillie, Dallas Green, died at 82. Green was the manager of the 1980 World Series squad.

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Mike Oz is the editor of Big League Stew on Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at or follow him on Twitter!

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