When Ruben Homered Off Miguel Batista

Today’s post comes courtesy of a tweet from KYW’s Matt Leon I found pretty fascinating. 

The Phillies face 41-year old Mets pitcher Miguel Batista tonight. It won’t be the first time Ruben Amaro has seen Batista. In fact, the two know each other from Batista’s very first appearance in the major leagues.

It was April 11th, 1992. The dominant Pittsburgh Pirates were facing the lowly Philadelphia Phillies at the Vet. Doug Drabek, father of former Phils prospect Kyle Drabek, was on the hill for Pittsburgh. Andy Ashby was hurling for the Phillies. The Pirates were  on their way to winning 96 games, the Phillies on their way to winning 70.

Ashby somehow shut down the Pirates incredible lineup, which included Jay Bell, Barry Bonds, Andy van Slyke and even current D-Backs manager Kirk Gibson, while Drabek struggled against a fairly weak offense that included Dale Murphy, Mickey Morandini, and yes, a center fielder who would end the season with a .219 BA, Rueben Amaro.

After 6 innings, the Phils led 5-1, and Jim Leyland decided to give a 21-year old Dominican a chance. In came Miguel Batista, and he induced Mickey Morandini to line out, then walked a player named Julio Peguero, who would play a grand total of 14 games in the majors. Up came Ruben Amaro. The future Phils GM sent a ball into deep right center, scoring Peguero (One of three career runs he would score in the bigs.)

1992 would turn out to be a career year for Ruben Amaro. He hit .219, with 7 homers and 34 RBIs (both career highs). The man he faced, Miguel Batista, is quite a character. He has played for a total of 10 different teams, has written a novel, and is considered one of the good guys of Major League Baseball.