On slow news days, I like to sift around the web in an attempt to find an interesting story pertaining to the Philadelphia sports world. Today, rather than forcing a 150 word news article, I actually found an interesting topic to discuss.
Saturday, Phillies’ catcher Carlos Ruiz, became a hero to some of his childhood friends in Panama.
According to a piece on the Postgame, the Phillies’ backstop helped to save some friends who had been lost at sea for over a day and a half in his native country of Panama.
The news did not involve Ruiz’s mother, but instead his hometown friends, Walter Dubarran and Jose Mercedes Rodriguez. They were among three men who were tossed into the sea when their fishing boat capsized. As word spread of the missing men, the National Air and Navy Service of Panama (SENAN) soon began searching for them.
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.”
The full article (which you can read here) is actually pretty incredible. It details how the two men (who weren’t together) stayed alive at sea while waiting for help, how Ruiz found out and his immediate attempts to help his friends and even shows video of Dubarran shortly after being rescued.
It’s a great story from a smaller site, and makes me happy to know that Ruiz is at least using his ridiculously high salary for good.