Not since Roy Halladay saved a naked man from an Anaconda have we heard a more heartwarming story about a Phillies battery member saving human life in Central or South America.
Just an incredible story from Jeffrey Eisenband of Yahoo!’s The Post Game, who chronicled Carlos Ruiz’s horrific weekend. Two of Chooch’s friends, Dubarran and Jose Mercedes Rodriguez (not aliases of Fausto Carmona Roberto Hernandez), became lost at sea off the coast of Panama after their fishing boat capsized. Panic-stricken, Ruiz couldn’t sleep Saturday night and nearly flew home to lend a hand. But, he let his wallet do the talking:
Ruiz’s friends were lost in the water for 35-40 hours, but they were rescued thanks in part to Ruiz, who hired boats, helicopters and airplanes to search for them. “For almost two days, we were so worried,” Ruiz said. “We didn’t know if something was going to happen to them. I’m so happy they are OK. Now I can get back to the field.”
As it got dark Saturday, SENAN put off the search during the night. Ruiz, 35, couldn’t sleep and felt time was pressing.
“Carlos was going to fly to Panama and everything,” his childhood friend, Omar Urriola, told ThePostGame by phone from Panama.
Carlos stayed in Philadelphia, but one of the private boats he hired had a search team that included his uncle, Manuel Rios; his brother, Joaquin, and other family friends.
Ruiz didn’t play in Josh Beckett’s no-hitter on Sunday and, after the game, returned to his locker to learn that his friends had been rescued. Rodriguez was found clinging to a gas tank. And one of the boats Ruiz hired found Dubarran strapped to a buoy, about to fall asleep:
“[Ruiz’s brother] saw something and said, ‘Hey, look! There’s something. The captain saw there was something and they went there. They jumped in the water and found them. I told my brother he did a great job.”
The crew told Dubarran it was Carlos who funded his rescue, and he got on the phone with Carlos as soon as he got to shore.
“The first thing I did was I prayed to God and said thank you and wow,” Ruiz says after getting the news about Dubarran in the car home from the game. “When I came into my house, I got a hug from my brother, my wife and my little kid. It was grand. I was so happy.”
Jesus Christ, this is adorable. HE SO HAPPY! I thought it was some sort of satire when I first read it. Chooch saves men stranded at sea from Citizens Bank Park dugout. But nope. Of course he did. Of course Chooch helped save the lives of two men lost at sea in Panama this weekend.