Phillies dedicate playing fields at Dominican Academy

Former Phillies Bobby Abreu, Carlos Ruiz and Juan Samuel Honored by Club

May 29th, 2024

The Phillies today held a ceremony to dedicate three playing fields at their Dominican Academy in Boca Chica, Dominican Republic, to honor former players Bobby Abreu, Carlos Ruiz and Juan Samuel. In addition, the club dedicated the academy’s bullpen mounds to honor longtime minor league manager and coach, Roly deArmas.

“It’s important for us to not only celebrate the on-field contributions of our Latin American players and staff, but also recognize their legacy in Phillies history,” said Managing Partner and Chief Executive Officer John Middleton. “All four individuals being honored at these fields today have made a significant impact on our organization and have represented the club in exemplary fashion.”

The Phillies’ Dominican Academy, which opened in January 2017, provides housing and educational, cultural and baseball development training for numerous local and international prospective baseball players. Since its opening, hundreds of players have attended the academy, including center fielder Johan Rojas, who played for the Dominican Summer League Phillies in 2018.

The three newly dedicated fields will be used for the first time as the DSL Phillies Red and White clubs begin their season on Monday, June 3.

The Phillies have a history of dedicating fields to honor their legendary players, including those at the Carpenter Complex in Clearwater, Fla., where four fields are named after Hall of Famers Mike Schmidt, Steve Carlton, Robin Roberts and Richie Ashburn. More recently, the organization dedicated a field in South Philadelphia in memory of the late Dick Allen. This field is used for players who participate in the Phillies Urban Youth Academy program.

Abreu, a native of Venezuela, spent nine seasons with the Phillies from 1998-2006 and batted .303 with 348 doubles, 195 home runs, 814 RBI, 947 walks, 254 stolen bases and a .416 on-base percentage in 1,353 games. A two-time National League All-Star with the Phillies (2004-05), Abreu won a Silver Slugger Award (2004) and a Gold Glove Award (2005). At the time of his Phillies Wall of Fame induction in 2019, Abreu ranked in the Phillies top 10 in on-base percentage (3rd), walks (3rd), doubles (4th), slugging percentage (5th), stolen bases (7th), RBI (8th), extra-base hits (8th), batting average (9th), runs (10th) and total bases (10th).

Ruiz, the Phillies’ primary catcher for 11 seasons (2006-16), began his professional career with the Dominican Summer League club in 1999, where he first learned the catcher position, and in that same year, helped the Phillies win their first Dominican Summer League championship. A native of Panama, Ruiz guided the Phillies pitching staff during the club’s run of five consecutive National League East Division titles from 2007-11, including the 2008 World Series championship. An NL All-Star in 2012, he currently ranks fourth all-time in in franchise history with 1,029 games caught. He is the only catcher in NL history to have caught four no-hitters and one of two catchers to do so in MLB history.

Samuel, a Dominican native, became the first Phillies second baseman to be selected to the NL All-Star team as a rookie in 1984. Over his seven seasons with the Phillies (1983-89), he led the team in stolen bases three times, including a club-record 72 in 1984. A two-time NL All-Star in Philadelphia (1984, 1987) and winner of an NL Silver Slugger Award (1987), Samuel became the first Phillies player ever to compile double figures in doubles, triples, home runs and stolen bases in four consecutive seasons (1984-87). At the time of his Phillies Wall of Fame induction in 2008, he ranked ninth all-time in franchise history in triples (71) and eighth in stolen bases (249). Following his playing career, Samuel spent seven seasons on the Phillies’ major league coaching staff (2011-17). He currently serves the organization as a special assistant to player development and international scouting.

deArmas, a Cuban-American player, coach and manager in Phillies organization for over 40 years, played five seasons in club’s minor league system as a catcher from 1973-77. As a manager, he skippered over 2,400 Phillies minor league games and guided the Gulf Coast League Phillies to the 2010 championship. deArmas also spent time as interim bullpen coach for the 2008 World Series champions. He was honored with a pair of prestigious awards, the Phillies’ John Vukovich Award in 2009, given to an instructor who embodies the characteristics of the award’s namesake: loyalty, education, competitiveness, knowledge, honesty and a terrific work ethic, and Minor League Baseball’s Mike Coolbaugh Award in 2021, given to an individual who has shown an outstanding baseball work ethic, knowledge of the game, and skill in mentoring young players on the field.