Phillies' Carlos Ruiz Plays Role In Friends' Rescue - FOX 29 News Philadelphia | WTXF-TV

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Phillies' Carlos Ruiz Plays Role In Friends' Rescue

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PHILADELPHIA -

Many Carlos Ruiz fans know he's a hero on the field, but on Tuesday, the Phillies all-star catcher is a bona-fide life saver.

Dramatic video shows a fisherman being rescued after 40 hours at sea in the Gulf of Chiuriqui off the coast of Panama.

The man was one of 3 tossed overboard when their fishing boat capsized. The men went missing.

But 2,000 miles away help was coming.

And he wears number 51.

"He just told me he was up all night. Dealing with a personal problem," said Phillies Manager Ryne Sandberg of Ruiz's modesty in the matter.

Two of the missing men were close childhood friends of Phil's catcher Carlos Ruiz. He considers them brothers.

"Whatever he thought he needed to do he was going to be able to do. It meant a lot for him and the whole city because they were like brothers they all grew up with him," said Juan Samuel, Ruiz's Translator.

Ruiz had debated leaving the team to help the search in his homeland. Instead, he funded his own search party.

Ruiz paid for planes, helicopters and boats to find his friends.

And in the middle of Sunday's game against the Dodgers, he got the news.

"Around the 7th inning of Sunday's game he went in to check messages and there was some messages they have found and located some guys," Samuel explained.

All of the missing men, were found. As first reported by The Post Game Online, pictures show the dramatic rescue of men hanging on to life preservers.

Ruiz's brother was actually on this boat when one of them was pulled to safety. Ruiz talked to his friends by phone.

"It was kind of joyful and they were thanking him again for what he did financially and the whole family was ecstatic," said Samuel.

And what did his manager have to say about his hero catcher?

"He went a long way and really did a lot to save lives. Not surprised at all," said Sandberg.

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