The Fightins'
Jul
13
2011
Sports Illustrated’s Profile of Chooch Will Make You Laugh; Cry.
Posted by Ryan at 3:26 pm ET 52 Comments

As mentioned yesterday, Carlos Ruiz is profiled in the current edition of Sports Illustrated. The story has hit the web and trust me when I say you need to drop whatever you’re doing and read this right now. It’s equal parts hilarious, heartbreaking, hopeful, and, uh, hinspirational.

Read it on SI.com (or a newsstand, I guess) or check out some choice excerpts after the jump. But seriously, I’m not screwing around here, read the goddamned article.

After his father’s tragic death, Carlos made a vow:

On his father’s last shift before a long vacation, a tire had blown out on Sgt. Joaquin Ruiz’s police jeep as he patrolled a nearby town. The jeep spun into a ditch, flipped, flung the unbelted man from his seat and then crushed him. Two weeks after Carlos’s grandmother died of cancer, his dad, too, was dead.

Carlos, the eldest of Inocencia’s three sons, knew at once that he must become the new father. “Don’t worry, I will play in the big leagues one day,” he informed his mother not long after, unaware that the odds of that were roughly two in one million. “I will take care of the family.” At the cemetery he dug himself an even bigger hole, repeating the promise to his father’s spirit. Then he grew silent and watched what men did, so he could become one too.

Chooch’s role on the team:

He’s the Tailor of Panama. The discreet man whose job and joy is to make his client look and feel wonderful, materializing in the mirror beside him only to smooth out a wrinkle, make a subtle alteration or offer a few quiet words of praise or advice. “Our starting pitchers do not need a tailor to make them look good,” he murmurs. “They make the tailor look good.” The perfect tailor’s words.

The origin of “Chooch”:

Chucha! That was the word that seemed to burst most from the quiet man’s mouth over the long, harrowing years that followed. It was the equivalent of the f bomb in his native land, and in the spring of 2004—when his bat utterly betrayed him—it escaped his mouth so often that his minor league teammate and roomie, Anderson Machado, began to address him that way … and it stuck. How Chucha cringed when he heard his new nickname, praying that no Panamanians were in earshot. His hitting agonies spilled into summer that year, his second season in Double A, but then came his break when Reading’s starting catcher was injured and the chance to play regularly brought Chucha’s bat back from the dead, his .284 average marking him—at the borderline age of 25—as a man who … well, might be a backup big league catcher one day. When his call-up came in 2006, the Philly writers, thank God, anglicized his nickname to Chooch, and the Philly fans took it as a children’s train reference, even sending him cute locomotive pictures as they began to fall in love with his pluck. The man with the steamy nickname became the Little Engine That Could.

There’s so much that’s better than that; honestly the entire article is worth block-quoting. But to take it out of context would be doing the piece a great disservice. GO READ IT ALREADY.

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52 Responses to “Sports Illustrated’s Profile of Chooch Will Make You Laugh; Cry.”

  1. Lynniemac says:

    More cry than laugh for me. Holy crap, was that a good article; I loved Chooch before, but damn. And I will gleefully scream “CHOOOOOOOOOOOCH” even more gleefully now.

  2. Schmitter22 says:

    Awesome read.

  3. Adam Eaton says:

    Chooch related comment.

  4. Van Swirly says:

    Nice Article

  5. Mike P says:

    Truly an amazing article. Talk about a guy who has overcome some serious shit to find success in professional baseball!

    Of course, I love that whenever we cheer “CHOOOOOOOOOCH!!!!”, he’s hearing, “FUUUUUUUUUCCCCCKKKKK!!!!”

  6. i can’t wait to get to the part where he’s first introduced to baskin robbins

  7. MOAB says:

    i only had a chance to read the first page, but i pretty much had the same reaction. he’s a stud.

    • Nikita says:

      He’s a stud alright, he has sons by two different senoritas.

      Chooch Jr. and Chooch Jr. II

    • Chucha That says:

      That does not make him a stud. That only makes him a typical professional athelete.

  8. WHATEVER I’M NOT CRYING NO YOU SHUT UP I HAVE ALLERGIES.

    Idiot.

  9. Lauren says:

    wow. that was an awesome article i want to read it over and over haha

  10. Joe D says:

    These are legendary times in Phillies baseball filled with legendary players. Chooch is one of them. Tremendous article for a tough ass dude.

  11. FrankKlose says:

    I thought Charlie is the one who made “Chucha” into “Chooch?” He described how he called him “Chooch” in front of Gillick one day…

  12. Gonzo says:

    tear-jerker

  13. Ashton says:

    This article no lie made me cry…..If you were not in love with that little Panama boy than….you are now.

  14. BakedMcBride says:

    The man is a phenomenological philosopher of the highest order. I love that guy. Oh, and how classy is Doc? (Answer: very).

  15. cutley says:

    those fuckers at si sent me the one with jeters hit on the cover. fucking ruined my day

    • skynetisreal says:

      i photoshopped jeter out. wasn’t about to let something like that ruin a perfectly good magazine cover.

  16. Greg Legg says:

    I loved Carlos before, mostly because I’ve followed the runt since Reading. But this.

    “Like a cheese steak! Like a cheese steak!”

    Dude’s straight boss. No two ways about it.

    • Everybody Loves Chooch says:

      That part had me cracking up, because that’s what *I* hear EVERY damn time I hear that song.

  17. Kung Fu Fightins says:

    *tear

  18. dUb-iLL says:

    “…the odds of that were roughly two in one million.”

    That’s one in 500 thousand…. Break that shit down SI.

  19. I says:

    Someone should send this to Schmidt, bet he’d feel like a douche for how he talked about Chooch.

  20. Franny Murt says:

    I could never quite put my finger on why Chooch is my favorite. Now I know why. I don’t care that he’s not very well known to the rest of the baseball world. I kinda like having him all to ourselves.

  21. Colleen Wolfe's Newly Bleached Asshole says:

    I have mascarra running down my face and bleach streaming down my buttcheeks. Sniff.

  22. PHLinPDX says:

    if you did not have at least a few tears well up in your eye while reading this you are a cot dang pinko commie.

    • Chucha That says:

      if you did not have at least a few tears well up in your eye while reading this you are a cot dang facist greedmonger

  23. chinny says:

    I so happy. awesome article. love chooch even more now.

  24. Pasadena_Phan says:

    Awesome picture & article! Nice to see quality ink on our Chooch!!

  25. Nino Espinosa says:

    Chooch jersey is next….love this guy.

    • Defenestrate Wheels says:

      bought halladay’s just before the season. Def need to get Chooch for the 1-2 punch

  26. phils43 says:

    About time Chooch gets the recognition he deserves from someone other than Phils fans. Awesome article.

  27. A bit over-dramatized for my taste, but a good read.

  28. TC says:

    nice way to get fired up for the second half. let’s get that ring!

  29. FirstTimer says:

    I have a man-crush on Chooch. If he tried to kiss me.. i’d pull away, but i might let him.. just to see what it was like.

  30. Schrammykins says:

    I’d carry Chooch’s love child with Roy Halladay.

  31. Everybody Loves Chooch says:

    Today my handle is even more appropriate than normal.

    (But seriously, when is it NOT appropriate?)

  32. shyamd88 says:

    God I hate when he’s Kyle Chooch Kendrick

  33. Nikco Riesgo says:

    <3

  34. dude... says:

    That was a changea, that was a little changea right there.

  35. Jessica says:

    God Bless the scout that told him to get behind the plate!!

  36. Gabrielle says:

    If Lynnie says it’s so, then it is so. I shall read said article ASAP.

  37. Spoonar says:

    Chooch is like a little Panamanian warrior poet.

  38. Watrick says:

    CHUUUUUUUUUUUCHA!

    Hey, anybody know of anyone that might have a log in for pbeo.com? I’d love to check out the jobs listed on there, but being that I’m on unemployment, I can’t see how to justify paying $50 for a login that might not lead to anything.

  39. CarlosBeltransexual says:

    When I opened the magazine, my syphilis was instantly cured, and my wife suddenly became pregnant with strapping triplet boys.

  40. Franny Murt says:

    Did anybody actually get SI with the Chooch cover? Even though it’s not the cover I wanted, I bought “the moment” anyway. Chooch’s pics inside are great and it’s something I felt compelled to have and keep. Too bad Jeter had to hit his 3000th the same week and take away Chooch’s shine.

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