Aug 2, 2012, 1:53 PM EDT
Carlos Ruiz is pretty much universally loved. When he graced the cover of Sports Illustrated last summer for Gary Smith’s cover story, it was one of my favorite pieces I’ve ever read about an athlete.
ESPN The Magazine published a piece today on Chooch that dives even deeper into where Chooch came from and the remarkable journey he went through to become the All-Star catcher he is today.
If you want to learn as much about Chooch as possible, give it a read. For instance, Ruiz started out as a young second baseman but made the switch to catcher in 1998.
When he began as a catcher, he couldn’t even catch a pop up apparently, but he worked extremely hard with then minor-league catching coordinator Mick Billmeyer to really apply himself to the craft of catching.
According to the author, Jorge Arangure Jr., when Chooch’s odyssey began, “There could not have been a player in the organization with worse odds of reaching the majors.”
Anyway, go read the whole thing. Feel free to share your favorite parts in the comments. My favorite was the quote from Chooch reflecting on his first day after he switched from 2B to catcher:
“You know, on that first day, I really enjoyed playing the position,”
Ruiz remembers. “It was something that I think was destiny. Things in
life happen that way.”
>>Carlos Ruiz’s success a testament to hard work and dedication [ESPN]
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