Once a bat boy for the Phillies is now the team’s general manager.
Ruben Amaro Jr., who served the past 10 seasons as the club’s assistant general manager, was named to the GM role on Monday in an announcement made by team president David Montgomery.
Amaro, 43,was hired by former Phillies GM Ed Wade in 1998. Since 2005, he has worked with Pat Gillick in crafting the Phillies’ roster that led to the two-time National League East Division championships and the 2008 World Series title. Gillick will serve now as an adviser to the team.
"I am honored that David has given me the opportunity to serve as General Manager," Amaro said. "I will work hard to continue to build on the world class foundation provided by our previous GMs."
Amaro was born and raised in Philadelphia and was the team’s bat boy from 1980-83 when his father, Ruben, was first base coach.
In his time as Gillick’s understudy, Amaro helped shape the 40-man roster and also was in on major league free agent contract negotiations. That included those eligible for salary arbitration, among many other tasks.
Amaro becomes the fourth minority GM currently working in Major League Baseball and the second current Hispanic GM. Prior to joining the Phillies’ front office, Amaro spent parts of eight seasons in the major leagues, five with Philadelphia. He appeared in 485 major league games and batted .235 with 16 home runs and 100 RBIs. Amaro played for the 1993 NL pennant-winning Phillies and on the Indians’ 1995 team that reached the World Series.
"Ruben has been an integral part of our organization since joining the front office in 1998," Montgomery said at the news conference. "We look forward to him continuing the momentum created with our 2008 championship season."
"Over the past three years I have had the opportunity to work closely with and mentor Ruben," Gillick said. "I am confident in his ability to lead our world championship team."
Amaro is a 1983 graduate of the William Penn Charter School, where he played both baseball and soccer. In 1987, he earned a BS degree in human biology from Stanford University and was a member of its 1987 College World Series championship team. Ruben Sr. and Ruben Jr. are the only father-son combination to ever play for the Phillies.
Amaro is actively involved in the community. He is co-founder of the Richie Ashburn Foundation, which provides free baseball camps for 1,100 underprivileged children in the Delaware Valley and awards grants for area schools and colleges. He also serves on the board for the Philadelphia chapter of the YMCA.