By Roy Reiss
November 23, 2015
The 2016 Boston Red Sox will have a definite Cotuit Kettleers connection when they open the season this Spring.
The team announced in October they’ve hired Ruben Amaro to be their new first base coach which culminates quite a baseball journey for the former Kettleer (1985-86). Amaro was the second baseman of the Kettleers championship team in 1985 and 2 years later he was a member of the 1987 NCAA championship Stanford team.
His major league career started with the California Angels in 1991 and included stops with the Phillies, Indians, Blue Jays, and Phillies again. The former Kettleer was named an assistant General Manager of the Phillies in 1998 and ten years later he was named General Manager of the franchise.
After being dismissed by the Phillies in September, Amaro took the unusual step of returning to the diamond as a coach which is a first for any former GM. We recently caught up with the former infielder and talked about his time in Cotuit.
What are your recollections of your time with the Kettleers?
It was a terrific time for me personally and professionally. I had the great fortune of playing with some wonderful athletes and eventual major leaguers…Greg Vaughn, Brian Hickerson, Cris Carpenter, Ed Sprague, John Ramos, Derek Liliquist .I also got to play against so many great players…Albert Belle, Craig Biggio, Tino Martinez, Todd Stottlemeyer, Hal Morris, Jeff Conine, Paul Sorrento, etc and so many others
Does any game or moment stand out?
Two of my most memorable moments were 1) winning the championship in 1985 and 2) playing in the all star game that year at Fenway I believe it was Cape Cod All Stars vs ACBL All Stars.
How did the experience influence your playing career?
It was my recollection that it was the first year of any college summer league that used exclusively wooden bats….clearly it helped with that eventual transition for me from aluminum to wood later on in my career.
If you could do it again knowing what you know, would you do anything differently?
Instead of being a “houseboy” for my designated summer job, I would have opted to be part of the baseball clinic. That experience-teaching young kids of Cotuit the fundamentals of baseball was very gratifying. I was able to do that my second year there in ’86.
Outside of baseball, what do you remember about life on the Cape?
It was a blast because the people on the Cape were kind and welcoming….the folks from my host family (The Sadowskis), were truly special people. I would certainly view the whole experience as one of the highlights of my career. It was particularly fun to visit Edgartown (Martha’s Vineyard) on our rare off days. I also enjoyed Hyannisport as well.
A couple of other brief notes….George Greer, the manager of the Kettleers from 1979-87 was recently inducted into the Wake Forest Hall of Fame. Greer who guided the Kettleers to 3 championships recalls Amaro as “a fierce competitor and a stickler for details.” Greer is still active in baseball as he works with the St Louis Cardinals as a minor league offensive strategist……Former Kettleer Drew Jackson (2013-14 Stanford) was recently named the Northwest League Player of the Year for 2015. Jackson was a 5th round draft choice of the Seattle Mariners in 2015 and completed his first season of minor league ball at Everett…..and don’t forget Christmas in Cotuit at Lowell Park, Saturday, December 5th from 10 AM to 3 PM.
Kettleers Korner will be anything and everything that might interest fans, past and present, about the Kettleers. Roy Reiss, who started his career working for Curt Gowdy Broadcasting, was a former sportscaster on Channel 7 and several radio stations in Boston. His son Mike now covers the Patriots for ESPNBoston.