Original BlueClaw Carlos Ruiz turns 32 today, so we’d like to wish him a Happy Birthday. Ruiz, as you know, was on our first roster, breaking camp with the first team in BlueClaws history and he caught the 2nd game in team history, April 6th, 2011 in Kannapolis.
Ruiz also caught the first no-hitter in BlueClaws history, a seven-inning game on April 12th of that year thrown by Keith Bucktrot. Bucktrot was perfect into the 6th (Lakewood made an error then) and he did not walk anyone or hit anyone as part of that no-hitter. Then-GM Ed Wade and about 30 other Phillies front office employees were in attendance.
In that game, Ruiz had 4 RBIs, which was a season-high for any BlueClaw and broken in 2002.
I remember talking to Greg Legg last year about Ruiz, right before he rehabbed with the BlueClaws. Legg manged him both in Lakewood in 2001 and later Reading in 2004.
Legg said he could always play defense, but they didn’t really know what kind of prospect he was until a few years later, when he blossomed with Reading. That year, also Ryan Howard’s break-out year, Ruiz hit 17 home runs in 349 at bats. He had hit 14 home runs total over the previous four years, in a combined, in 944 at bats.