Rubén Amaro Sr.

“Baseball is our way of life in the Amaro family,” said Rubén Amaro Sr. Four generations of Amaros have played professionally. Amaro’s father, Santos, had a long and distinguished career in Cuba and Mexico. His son, Rubén Amaro Jr., became a player, executive, and coach in the major leagues. Rubén Sr. was in the majors from 1958 through 1969, mainly with the Philadelphia Phillies. For nearly 50 years after that, he continued to serve the game in many capacities: scout, coach, manager, and more.

As a player, Amaro was known more for fielding than hitting. In 940 big-league games, he batted .234 with a slugging percentage of just .292, including eight home runs. Four of those homers came during the 1964 season, in which he also won a Gold Glove for his play at shortstop – even though he was sharing the position in Philadelphia with Bobby Wine.

Rubén Amaro Mora was one of the rare big-leaguers whose parents both played pro baseball – in fact, that distinction may be unique. Santos Amaro (1908-2001) played 14 winter seasons in Cuba from 1936-37 to 1949-50.1 He was in Mexico during the summers from the late 1920s through 1955.2 He was also a manager in both his native land and his adopted home and eventually became a member of the Baseball Hall of Fame in each nation.3 Santos Amaro was known as El Canguro – “The Kangaroo” – for his size and leaping ability. In Mexico, Rubén Amaro was sometimes called “Cangurito.” He too became a member of the Mexican Baseball Hall of Fame in 1986. Rubén and Santos became the first father-son duo to be so honored.

Santos had come to Mexico with a traveling Cuban ballclub as early as 1928. In 1929, he met a young woman named Josefina Mora (1910-2007), a member of the Vera Cruz Women’s Professional Baseball Club.4 They got married and had two sons. Mario was born in 1931 in Cuba. Rubén was born in Nuevo Laredo, Mexico on January 6, 1936.5

Santos Amaro was of Portuguese and Moorish descent – the resemblance between him and Rubén was marked. Though his facial features did not fit the “African” stereotype, his coffee-colored skin meant that Santos encountered racism while playing with a barnstorming team in the United States in 1932. By one account, he did not wish to return.6 “But in 1935, he went on an eighty-game, fourteen-state tour of the United States with. . .La Junta de Nuevo Laredo.”7 Santos was not allowed to play much while in Texas. The prejudice he faced in the U.S. apparently killed his desire to play in the Negro Leagues. Yet Afro-Cubans faced bias even at home – Mexico was a more welcoming environment. Several black Cuban players married Mexican women; one was Pedro Orta, whose son Jorge became a major-leaguer from 1972 to 1987.8

As Rubén told author Stuart Gustafson many years later, his parents were a study in contrasts. Santos was tall (1.92 meters, or roughly 6-feet-3½). Josefina was petite (5’1”) and fair (her grandparents on both sides were Spanish). Rubén and Mario wound up in between at 5-feet-10½. “Doña Pepa” was the one with whom the boys practiced their baseball skills, because Santos stressed education above all.9

The Amaro family traveled between Mexico and Cuba until settling permanently in Mexico in 1951. Rubén’s godfather was another great Cuban player, Hall of Famer Martín Dihigo. El Inmortal was a teammate of Santos Amaro’s in Mexico (and a fellow member of the Masons). While the boys were in Havana, their baseball playmates included two future big-league pitchers: the Pascual brothers, Carlos and Camilo. Mario Amaro was also a skillful player but focused instead on medicine. He remained in Cuba for some time after 1951 to continue his schooling.

Rubén – whose favorite player growing up was Roberto Ávila, the Mexican star of the Cleveland Indians – became a star for Mexico in national and international amateur competition. He took part in the Amateur World Series in Caracas, Venezuela in 1953. In March 1954, he helped his homeland win a silver medal at the Central American and Caribbean Games in Mexico City.10

Before the 1954 season, the St. Louis Cardinals signed Amaro as an amateur free agent. The scout was Tufie Hashem, who in 1949 had become general manager of the minor-league club in Mexicali, Baja California. “In 1954, when the Cardinals’ organization extended a working agreement to Mexicali, Hashem came up with his first find, Ruben Amaro.”11 Amaro also noted the involvement of Mexicali’s player-manager, Art Lilly.

“The Cardinals signed me not for my glove,” said Amaro, “but for my bat. I was about the same size as Bobby Ávila, and we both had pretty good power. I was originally an outfielder. I did not start playing shortstop until 1953, after our regular shortstop for the Mexican team broke his leg.”

Amaro began his pro career with Mexicali, which was then in the Arizona-Texas League (Class C). He played in only 93 games, though – “the manager for Bisbee took me out with a rolling slide and broke my fibula.” That summer, Amaro also got a brief taste of action with Veracruz in the Mexican League – where his father was player-manager. Rubén went 2 for 5 in four games but never returned to that league in future.12

Amaro rejoined Mexicali for the 1955 season, and his first cousin Mario Amaro Romay was one of his teammates. Rubén hit 18 homers – he never even approached double digits in any other season – while batting .309. His 1959 Topps baseball card observed, “In the first couple of years in pro ball, he had the tendency to overrun grounders due to his eagerness.” Over time, though, Amaro became known for his smooth, gliding movement in the field.

Amaro played winter ball in Mexico off and on during his career. After his first pro summer, he joined Hermosillo in La Liga de la Costa del Pacífico, but was traded to Mazatlán – “Hermosillo had too many shortstops,” he said. He returned to Mazatlán for three more seasons but rejected offers to play for the Veracruz Sharks in the 1958-59 season.13 Higher education was the reason: he studied business and accounting at La Academía Comercial Veracruz for three years.14 “The director of the school was a very strict and wonderful woman named Juanita Folgueras,” Amaro recalled. “The school is also known by her name. It was a four-year school, but I did not finish. I promised my father that I would, and I still may!”

Amaro spent the summers of 1956 and 1957 with Houston (Double A). Over half a century later, he recalled that he was ready to quit because of the racial and ethnic taunts of some Texas League fans – “the vituperation,” in his own words. Jim Crow laws were also humiliating (in fact, Shreveport didn’t even let black players take the field in 1957, under a Louisiana state law then in effect that banned interracial sports). But he stuck with it after Santos Amaro calmly reminded his son that he had originally let him leave school on the condition that he do whatever it took to reach the majors.15

For better and for worse, two former big-leaguers had a major impact on Amaro’s development in 1956. The first was Billy Jurges, who was a special infield instructor at the Cardinals’ advance camp that February.16 “He told me two things that stayed with me forever,” Amaro recalled. “One was that in the first three days of camp, I had to know all my pitchers by first and last names.” The bigger picture was to know the hurlers’ tendencies and be positioned accordingly. Gene Mauch, who later managed Amaro with the Phillies, viewed Rubén as one of the best shortstops he ever saw in this regard. “The other was that I had to know I was going to get the batter out at first.” In other words, he had to catalogue all the batters and how well they ran too.

During that advance camp, The Sporting News said of Amaro, “[He] has shown exceptional fielding skill at shortstop. He glides around the infield with speed and deftness. If he can hit he’ll be on some major league club before long.”17 That’s where the other influence came to bear – Houston manager Harry Walker. Throughout his long career as a skipper, “Harry the Hat” was known for his inveterate remolding of batters’ swings in his own spray-hitting style. It helped some players, but Amaro was not one of them. “Those two years in Houston changed me as a player,” he said. “I became a tremendous shortstop, but after working with Harry, I couldn’t hit a ball 250 feet.”

Still, Rubén moved up to Triple-A Rochester in 1958. Although he was hitting just .200 in the first few months of the season, the big club called him up to St. Louis in late June. “Eddie Kasko was not only down below .200 at bat but had slipped in the field.”18 Amaro became just the 12th player born in Mexico to reach the majors.

When the rookie set foot on the field at Busch Stadium for the first time on June 28, it became extra special – thanks to his teammate, the great Stan Musial. As author Milton Jamail wrote in 2001, “Ask Rubén Amaro Sr. for the highlight of his long career and he does not hesitate a second.”19 He had been issued uniform pants that were two sizes too big, and Musial asked the clubhouse man to find a proper pair. As George Vecsey added in his 2011 biography of Musial, “Stan the Man” also graciously made the rookie feel at home with memories of playing against Santos Amaro while barnstorming in Cuba years before.20

Over the rest of the ’58 season, Amaro appeared in 40 games for the Cardinals, hitting .224 in 76 at-bats. That December, St. Louis traded him to Philadelphia for Chuck Essegian. “We had just finished our tour of Japan,” said Amaro. “I think they traded me as soon as I got off the plane.” Roy Hamey, general manager of the Phillies, wanted to light a fire under his shortstop, Chico Fernández.21 Amaro spent the entire 1959 season at Triple-A Buffalo; meanwhile the Phillies used Joe Koppe ahead of Fernández at short.

In June 1960, however, Koppe got hurt and Philadelphia couldn’t swing a trade for another shortstop. So they called up Amaro and made him the regular.22 Upon joining the Phillies, Rubén became just the third native of Mexico to play for the club.23 He formed a double-play combo with Tony Taylor, the Cuban second baseman obtained in trade that May. Soon thereafter, Philadelphia beat writer Allen Lewis wrote in The Sporting News, “The addition of shortstop Ruben Amaro tightened the infield considerably. The Mexican was drawing raves from the Connie Mack Stadium fans for the finest shortstop play they had seen by a Phillies player in many years.”24

Amaro remained the primary shortstop for the Phillies in 1961, setting a big-league career high in games played (135). It was also his most productive season in terms of offense, featuring his best on-base percentage (.351) and OPS (.700). That April, Gene Mauch said, “There’s no shortstop in the league playing better ball defensively than Amaro. Ernie Banks might have better hands, but he isn’t a better shortstop.”25

On December 9, 1961, Amaro married Judith Herman. They had met at the gourmet cheese shop that Judy’s mother ran in Philadelphia’s Reading Terminal Market.26 In 2008, Judy also said, “My sister Marlene taught English to Pancho Herrera and Tony Taylor. Ruben would drive them to our house for the lessons.”27

Rubén and Judy had two sons, both of whom became baseball players. David was drafted in the 24th round by the Chicago Cubs in 1984. He played that summer in short-season Class A ball and eight games in the Mexican League in 1985. David’s sons Robert and Andrew were both drafted by the Phillies out of high school but chose college instead; Andrew played Class A ball for the Phillies in 2015.28 Rubén Jr. played in the major leagues from 1991 through 1998 and then moved into the front office of the Phillies. He became the club’s general manager in 2008 and remained in that position through September 2015. In an unusual move, he then joined the coaching staff of the Boston Red Sox.

In January 1962, the Associated Press wrote, “Amaro, a brilliant fielder, is the keystone of the Phillies infield.” Gene Mauch said, “Amaro must have been the most improved player in the majors last year. He moved in a couple of steps at short and became a star. He also became a tough hitter.”29

That May, Amaro (who had previously been in the Mexican Army) was recalled to service in the U.S. Army. The Phillies called up Bobby Wine, who had played four games for them in 1960, and made him the interim starter. Wine continued to play a lot after Amaro returned in late July. He performed well enough for the Phillies to consider trading Amaro during the offseason.30 Instead, Mauch juggled them for three years more.

Amaro returned to winter ball in Mexico for the 1962-63 season. He started with Jalapa of the Veracruz League, which was managed by his father. He also got his first taste of managing. “There was an all-star game between the young players and the veterans, and I got to lead the young guys.” But when the governor of Veracruz state withdrew financial support for the Jalapa franchise, it folded, and the league’s other three teams followed suit.31 Amaro thereupon joined the Yaquis of Ciudad Obregón in La Liga Invernal de Sonora.

Back with the Phillies in 1963, Amaro got off to a cold start with the bat, and his fielding was still not quite up to his brilliant standard of 1961. Therefore, Mauch gave Wine another shot.32 Wine hit well for a few weeks, and though he tailed off severely at the plate after that, he continued to get more shortstop duty than Amaro overall. During the four seasons that Wine and Amaro were teammates, from 1962 through 1965, they split the shortstop duties as follows:


Rubén Amaro and Bobby Wine: Selected Averages, 1962-65

  Amaro Wine
Total games played 110 130
Games played at shortstop 70 116
Starts at shortstop 56 101
Innings played at shortstop 500 884
Plate appearances 263 380
OPS .608 .573



It was an interesting pattern – not a true platoon in that both men were righthanded batters who didn’t contribute much with the stick. Both were excellent defenders who positioned themselves well, though Wine was known more for his stronger arm and Amaro for his greater range and quick release. Both also filled in at third base; Amaro also played a significant amount at first base, including seven starts during the 1964 season.

Going into spring training in 1964, Mauch called Wine the first-stringer and Amaro the backup.33 The following month, though, he was more ambivalent. He said, “They can both play in the field and, although they are different types, they are both among the best there is with the glove. We can’t lose anything there whichever one is the regular.” The skipper thought, however, that Wine had more upside with the bat.34

As it developed, Wine played 52% of the innings at short, Amaro 42%, and the scraps went to Cookie Rojas. In 1989, as part of his retrospective series on the ’64 Phillies, Stan Hochman of the Philadelphia Daily News offered a witty view of how the shortstop tandem was used that year. “When it was over, manager Gene Mauch had wrung eight homers and 68 RBI out of his shortstop(s), shuffling Amaro and Wine in and out of the lineup based on biorhythms only he detected, based on the opposing pitcher, the day of the week, the phases of the moon.”35

There was more to it than hunches, though. In late May, Mauch cited the need to give both Wine and Tony Taylor some rest. He said, “There’s more mental pressure on the second baseman and shortstop than on any other regular except the catcher. Taylor and Wine have played almost every inning since spring training.” Allen Lewis added, “Ruben Amaro, who can play any infield position expertly, has done everything Mauch asked of him and done it well.”36

Wine started 70 of the first 97 games at short, but then fell below the Mendoza Line, and Mauch turned more to Amaro as the summer wore on. Late in the season, Lewis wrote that Amaro was back in his top form of 1961 in the field and was hitting respectably too. Rubén himself credited being in a good rhythm with regular play. Oddly enough, he said that a spring wrist injury helped his swing.37

Amaro also made a unique contribution to how the history of the 1964 Philadelphia Phillies was recorded with the series of letters he wrote to his father and mother at their home in Veracruz. Those letters possessed a special spirit, but are lost to history because Doña Pepa threw them out while cleaning house in 1971. Amaro ordered $1,800 worth of World Series tickets for his family before the Phillies collapsed down the stretch. He never did get to a World Series as a player, though he was present as first-base coach when the Phillies finally triumphed in 1980. “We won and it was fabulous, extraordinary – but nothing ever is going to make up for our loss in 1964.” He drew a parallel with another team he served as coach, the 1984 Chicago Cubs, who won the first two games of the NL Championship Series that year but couldn’t close it out. “We had a banner year, but it was devastating at the end when we lost three games to San Diego and couldn’t go to the Series.” The good Catholic summed it up this way: “When the saints turn their back, there is simply no way you are going to win.”

After the sad ending to the season, Amaro received some consolation in the form of the National League Gold Glove award for shortstops. In those days, the players cast the ballots, and out of 251 total, Amaro got 59, edging Leo Cárdenas of Cincinnati, teammate Wine (the 1963 winner), and veteran Roy McMillan of the New York Mets. The Sporting News said, “The award was long overdue for Amaro.”38

There was renewed talk after the ’64 season that the Phillies might look to deal either Wine or Amaro to another team.39 That did not come to pass for another year, though. On November 29, 1965, Philadelphia traded Amaro to the New York Yankees for utility infielder Phil Linz. The Yankees thought Linz would not develop into a regular shortstop; the Phillies viewed him as a bench reinforcement who might become something more. Yankees manager Ralph Houk said, “We know Amaro isn’t much of a bet to win the batting title, but we know he is truly a first-class infielder.”40

“I did not play much winter ball after getting married,” Amaro said. “I worked for ADD Air Freight International and later for Freihofer’s bakery.” But because Amaro had not played much for Philadelphia in 1965, he wanted to return to Ciudad Obregón. Economics prevented it, however; “Mexican rules dictate[d] that a major league player must be paid at the same rate as in the United States. ‘My team couldn’t possibly pay me by league rules,’ Amaro explained. ‘The team’s entire budget for the season was 72,000 pesos, or approximately $6,000.’”41

Amaro was the main candidate to step into the shoes of a Yankee hero, Tony Kubek, who had retired in January 1966. Although he became the first Mexican to play in the majors for the Yankees, he got into just 14 games with New York that year. He injured his knee in the fifth game of the season, colliding with left fielder Tom Tresh on a blooper off the bat of Brooks Robinson. He underwent surgery and did not return until September. The Bronx Bombers finished in last place in the American League that year, one of the worst seasons in the proud franchise’s history.

Bobby Murcer (originally a shortstop for the Yankees) went into the Army for a two-year hitch in 1967. Amaro returned to play 130 games, overcoming the long layoff and some lingering mental concerns to earn some consideration as Comeback Player of the Year.42 Houk gave him a career high 470 plate appearances. In 1968, however, New York moved Tom Tresh to shortstop and Amaro became a seldom-used reserve. He came to the plate just 50 times in 47 games, getting just five hits.

Perhaps the most interesting news concerning him that year came off the field. The 1968 Summer Olympics were held in Mexico City, and Amaro took a principled stand, supporting a potential boycott of the Games if South Africa (then under apartheid) were allowed to participate. He came under fire in his homeland’s press but did not change his position.43 The International Olympic Committee eventually decided to continue its ban of South Africa, and the boycotts did not take place.

In November 1968, the California Angels purchased Amaro’s contract from the Yankees for $25,000. They wanted a capable veteran backup for Jim Fregosi, who had tired after the All-Star break.44 That winter, in need of action, Amaro got back to Ciudad Obregón.

During the 1969 season, Jim Bouton (a teammate with the Yankees from 1966-68) praised Amaro as he wrote his baseball diary, Ball Four. “He’s the kind of guy, well, there’s a dignity to him and everyone likes and respects him.” Again, however, Rubén’s playing time was scanty – just 36 plate appearances in 41 games. Yet he helped the ballclub in other ways – notably as mentor to a countryman, young Aurelio Rodríguez. In fact, Amaro and Rodríguez’s father had been on the same Mexican amateur team in 1953.45

A few weeks after the 1969 season ended, the Angels released Amaro. They offered him a job managing in their minor-league system, but he still wanted to be on the field. Thus he played winter ball again, this time with the Culiacán Tomateros.46 The following spring, he signed with the San Diego Padres. “If I made good, I wanted $25,000, but they didn’t agree. So I called Gene Mauch,” who was then managing the Montreal Expos. “Gene said if I made his team, I would earn whatever I made with the Angels.”

Amaro was an insurance policy at shortstop; the incumbent – none other than Bobby Wine – had an elbow problem that concerned the Expos.47 “He also had a neck problem,” Amaro added. Rubén wasn’t able to stick, though. “That winter, I fell on my shoulder in a rundown with Aurelio Rodríguez. I got to spring training and I couldn’t throw. The minute I left camp, I was okay.”

There was no job opening as a player-coach for the Expos at Triple-A.48 An opportunity arose in his homeland, but things turned out differently. “I had a two-year contract to manage the Mexico City Reds,” Amaro recalled. “I had a brand-new Ford station wagon, and it had temporary tags. I didn’t want to get to the border with those, so I went to Harrisburg to get plates. I started driving down and a highway patrolman stopped me. I wondered what I had done, and he told me that I had an urgent call from Mr. Paul Owens.” The Phillies’ farm director wanted Amaro to return to the organization. “So I drove to Eugene, Oregon instead of my country.”

Amaro played in 106 games in 1970 for Philadelphia’s top farm club. That July, he became a player-coach.49 He spent one last winter as a player in Mexico, again with Culiacán. During his final summer as a pro, 1971, he got into 17 games for Eugene and 11 with the Double-A affiliate, the Reading Phillies.

In 1970, Gene Mauch had called Amaro an excellent managing prospect, saying, “He’s got it up here” while tapping his forehead.50 “The owner in Eugene wanted me to be manager,” Amaro said. “They had guys like Greg Luzinski [1971] and Mike Schmidt [1972]. I might have become a major-league manager. But it was too early for me,” he added, referring to his ethnicity.

Rubén became a full-time manager for the first time in the winter of 1971-72 with Culiacán. He was celebrating the team’s victory in the first half of the season at the ranch of owner Juan Manuel Ley when he mounted a horse and the animal threw Amaro over its head.51 “I shattered and dislocated my ankle, and that was the end of my playing career.”

Since then, Amaro compiled the following résumé:







Philadelphia Phillies

Head scout, Caribbean area; assistant to Dallas Green; infield instructor

Involved in signings of various major-leaguers, including Guillermo “Willie” Hernández (1973), Orlando Isales (1975), José Moreno (1975), George Bell (1978), Julio Franco (1978), Juan Samuel (1980).



Manager, Auburn Phillies




First-base coach in majors

Succeeded Tony Taylor. Won World Series ring in 1980.



Director of Latin American Affairs

Involved in signing of big leaguer Johnny Paredes.


Chicago Cubs

Third-base and infield coach in majors


Over 20 winter seasons

Águilas del Zulia (Venezuela)

Manager; general manager; club executive

Won league title in 1983-84 and then the 1984 Caribbean Series. Also managed the club in 1990-91; 1991-92; 1994-95; 1995-96; 1996-97 (part); 1997-98 (part); 2000-01; 2003-04.


Chicago Cubs

Latin American scout/scouting supervisor

Supervised field scout Nino Espinosa.


Detroit Tigers

Latin American scout

Involved in signing of big-leaguer Jorge Velandia (1992).

1989; 1993


Manager, Bristol Tigers



Petroleros de Minatitlán (Mexico)

Manager (one of two)

Santos and Rubén Amaro became the first father-son managers in the Mexican summer league.


Chicago Cubs

Manager, Williamsport Cubbies



Chicago Cubs

Manager, Rockford Cubbies




Minor-league field and defensive coordinator


2001-06; 2008-09


Special-assignment scout

Provided evaluations of top prospects, such as Cole Hamels



Manager, Gulf Coast League Phillies



Chicago White Sox

Aide, Latin American developmental programs



Houston Astros

Part-time scout



“When I first worked for the Phillies in 1972,” Amaro recalled, “there were only four people in the [farm director’s] office: Paul Owens, Dallas Green, I, and Bill Gargano, plus a couple of secretaries.” Amaro took great pride in having contributed to the renewed success of the franchise. In his view, the very high percentage of players who went to winter ball together was a major factor, helping with fundamentals and team cohesion.

“I never wanted to leave the Phillies – never,” Amaro continued. “The times I left, they were the biggest boo-boos of my life. Not so much the first time, though, because I joined Dallas Green with the Cubs and he built something, which I don’t think he gets enough credit for.”

Amaro never did get a chance to manage in the majors, although he was mentioned as a candidate to succeed Green with the Phillies after the 1981 season. He also got an interview with Philadelphia as late as 2000, following the firing of Terry Francona. “I was not only Latin, but my family was also a bit dark,” Amaro said in 2011. “My time came too early.”52 He also hoped to become assistant to his son when Rubén Jr. became GM, but internal politics prevented that – the Phillies instituted a rule against family connections.

Amaro and his first wife, Judy, got divorced in the 1980s. Rubén had a daughter named Alayna from a relationship with Mary Beth Allio. In 1988, he got married again, to Lilia Machado, a member of the family that owns Águilas del Zulia, Amaro’s Venezuelan club. Their two sons, Luis Alfredo and Rubén Andrés, also became ballplayers. Luis played short-season Class A ball for the Phillies in 2011.

After a battle with cancer, Rubén Amaro Mora died in Miami on March 31, 2017. His passing came just nine days after the death of his longtime colleague Dallas Green. When the news of Amaro’s death broke, there was a remarkable outpouring of affection for the man, emphasizing his personal warmth and grace. It echoed an observation from six years before about his standing in the game. During spring training 2011, Amaro visited the camp of the New York Mets, representing the Baseball Assistance Team (he had been a director for several years). Sportswriter Marty Noble observed, “Wherever he was, lines formed. Scouts, writers, club officials actually queued up to say hello and show reverence, appreciation and respect for the soft-spoken 75-year-old. He never was a star. . . But he is one of the game’s great gentlemen.”53


This biography is an expanded version of the one included in the book “The Year of the Blue Snow: The 1964 Philadelphia Phillies” (SABR, 2013), edited by Mel Marmer and Bill Nowlin. It includes some of the material from two sidebar articles, “What to Do with Two Gold Glove Shortstops?” and “The Amaro Chronicles”.



Grateful acknowledgment to Rubén Amaro Sr. for his memories. All Amaro quotes are from telephone interviews on October 18 and November 20, 2012, unless otherwise indicated. Thanks also to Steve Grande, Media Relations, Houston Astros, and to Dick Schofield Sr. for confirming information about the Cardinals’ advance camps.

Fellow researchers

Continued thanks to Alfonso Araujo in Mexico for various details of Rubén Amaro’s career in winter ball.


Pedro Treto Cisneros, editor, Enciclopedia del Béisbol Mexicano, Mexico City: Revistas Deportivas, S.A. de C.V.: 11th edition, 2011.

The Sporting News Baseball Register, 1965 edition.

Internet resources

Manuel de Jesús Sortillón Valenzuela, online history of La Liga de la Costa del Pacífico,



1 In Cuba, Santos Amaro hit .294 with 12 homers and 321 RBIs (total games played are not available). Jorge S. Figueredo, Who’s Who in Cuban Baseball, 1878-1961. Jefferson, North Carolina: McFarland & Company, Inc. 2003.

2 In Mexico, Santos Amaro hit .314 with 32 homers and 705 RBIs in 1,186 games (available statistics for 17 seasons start in 1939). Pedro Treto Cisneros, editor, Enciclopedia del Béisbol Mexicano, Mexico City: Revistas Deportivas, S.A. de C.V.: 11th edition, 2011.

3 Santos Amaro became a member of the Cuban Baseball Hall of Fame (in exile) in 1967. The Mexican Baseball Hall of Fame inducted him in 1977.

4 Nick Wilson, Early Latino Ballplayers in the United States, Jefferson, North Carolina: McFarland & Company, 2005, 139.

5 Other sources have shown different spots in Mexico as Rubén Amaro Mora’s birthplace, but Nuevo Laredo – as confirmed by Amaro in October 2012 – fits with that point in his father’s career.

6 Wilson, Early Latino Ballplayers in the United States, 139.

7 Milton Jamail, “Baseball in Southern Culture, American Culture, and the Caribbean.” Part of The South and Caribbean (Douglass Sullivan-González and Charles Reagan Wilson, editors), Oxford, Mississippi: University Press of Mississippi, 2001, 160

8 Roberto González Echevarría, The Pride of Havana, New York, New York, Oxford University Press, 1999, 261, 22.

9 Stuart Gustafson, Remembering Our Parents . . . Stories and Sayings from Mom & Dad, Excerpt from book to be released, on Gustafson’s site ( Paul Hagen, “Father’s Day: Ruben Amaro Sr. and Jr.,”, June 16, 2010.

10 The Dominican Republic’s team, which won the bronze medal, featured Felipe Alou.

11 “Obituaries,” The Sporting News, April 27, 1968, 38.

12 Enciclopedia del Béisbol Mexicano

13 Miguel A. Calzadilla, “Series Sweep Puts Cordoba in First Place,” The Sporting News, December 10, 1958, 27.

14 Al Levine, “Mexico’s Amaro: Hero or Traitor?” Miami News, April 5, 1968, 1-C.

15 Jorge Aranguré Jr., “Ruben Amaro Jr. a confident leader,” ESPN The Magazine, October 3, 2011.

16 Red Byrd, “Too Early for the Curves – and Kid Cards Draw Raves,” The Sporting News, February 29, 1956, 6.

17 Byrd, “Too Early for the Curves – and Kid Cards Draw Raves”

18 Neal Russo, “Cards Cool in July as Foes Make Merry with 4-Base Drives,” The Sporting News, July 23, 1958, 19.

19 Jamail, “Baseball in Southern Culture, American Culture, and the Caribbean,” 159-160.

20 George Vecsey, Stan Musial: An American Life, New York, New York: Random House, 2011, 2041.

21 Allen Lewis, “Phillies Tagging Thomas to Stitch Up Backstop Tear,” The Sporting News, December 10, 1958, 23.

22 Allen Lewis, “Phils, Unable to Pull Swap for Shortstop, Recall Amaro,” The Sporting News, June 22, 1960, 27.

23 Chile Gómez (1935-36) was the second Mexican in The Show. Bob Greenwood (1954-55) was not an ethnic Mexican.

24 Allen Lewis, “Phillies Flash New Life At Bat; They’re Mauch’s Maulers Now,” The Sporting News, July 6, 1960, 27.

25 Al Abrams, “Sidelights on Sports,” Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, April 26, 1961, 24.

26 Mike Jensen, “Family pick: Phillies choose Amaro as GM,” Philadelphia Inquirer, November 4, 2008.

27 Stan Hochman, “Phillies GM Amaro always will have his mother in his corner,” Fox Sports, December 2, 2008.

28 Rob was a 40th round pick in 2009 but went to the University of Virginia. Andrew was a 47th round pick in 2011 but went to the University of Maryland. In 2015 he became a 35th-round pick.

29 Ralph Bernstein, “Mauch Is Sure Phils Won’t End in Cellar,” Associated Press, January 31, 1962.

30 Allen Lewis, “Phils Brew Heady Potion with Bennett, Short, Wine,” The Sporting News, November 10, 1962, 15.

31 Roberto Hernández, “Becquer, Arano Standouts as Veracruz League Opens,” The Sporting News, November 17, 1962, 29. Roberto Hernández, “Jalapa Gives Up Franchise; Veracruz League Goes Under,” The Sporting News, January 5, 1963, 37.

32 “Bobby Wine Stars in Amaro Position,” Associated Press, May 14, 1963. Allen Lewis, “Phils Rave Over Ruben’s Miracle Glove, Steady Bat,” The Sporting News, October 3, 1964, 6.

33 Gene Mauch, “Mauch Makes No Predictions for Phillies,” Associated Press, February 15, 1964.

34 Allen Lewis, “Phils Dream of Feast at Dish, Led by Strong Wine,” The Sporting News, March 21, 1964, 15.

35 Stan Hochman, “The Shortstops,” Philadelphia Daily News, July 27, 1989.

36 Allen Lewis, “Phil Foes Crumble as Cookie Clouts,” The Sporting News, June 13, 1964, 7.

37 Lewis, “Phils Rave Over Ruben’s Miracle Glove, Steady Bat”

38 Oscar Kahan, “Santo and Amaro Join N.L. Fielding Wizards,” The Sporting News, November 7, 1964, 15.

39 Allen Lewis, “Phils Well-Heeled at Shortstop; Listen to Bids for Amaro, Wine,” The Sporting News, November 28, 1964, 10.

40 Allen Lewis, “Knowles Gets Shot as Phils’ Starter – Brandt Has CF Job,” The Sporting News, December 18, 1965, 17. Til Ferdenzi, “Peppy, Bobby and Tony – Yank Three-Part Riddle,” The Sporting News, December 18, 1965, 17.

41 Murray Chass, “Retirement Terminated By Aparicio,” Associated Press, January 20, 1966.

42 Jim Ogle, “From Just Plain Awful to Super – That’s Amaro’s Amazing Saga,” The Sporting News, July 1, 1967, 21.

43 Levine, “Mexico’s Amaro: Hero or Traitor?”

44 John Wiebusch, “Weary Fregosi To Get Support In Amaro Glove,” The Sporting News, November 23, 1968, 43.

45 Ross Newhan, “English a Mystery to Rodriguez, but Pitchers Aren’t,” The Sporting News, April 5, 1967, 7.

46 Ted Blackman, “Amaro Still a Glove Magician? He’s Trying to Convince Mauch,” The Sporting News, March 21, 1970, 28.

47 Ted Blackman, “Expos disturbed over shortstop spot,” Montreal Gazette, February 23, 1970, 20.

48 Ted Blackman, “Expos split on weekend,” Montreal Gazette, March 23, 1970, 19.

49 “Amaro Player-Coach,” The Sporting News, August 8, 1970, 42.

50 Blackman, “Amaro Still a Glove Magician? He’s Trying to Convince Mauch”

51 Tomás Morales, “A Fractured Leg May End Amaro’s Career,” The Sporting News, December 18, 1971, 63.

52 Aranguré, “Ruben Amaro Jr. a confident leader”

53 Marty Noble, “More Slices of Spring Training in Florida,”, March 9, 2011.

Full Name

Rubén Amaro Mora


January 6, 1936 at Nuevo Laredo, Tamaulipas (Mexico)


March 31, 2017 at Miami, FL (USA)

If you can help us improve this player’s biography, contact us.