Philadelphia Phillies catcher Carlos Ruiz is coming of an emotional weekend that could have ended tragically had it not been for the ballplayer’s generosity. Ruiz learned on Saturday that two close friends, Walter Dubarran and Jose Mercedes Rodriguez, were lost at sea after their fishing boat capsized in his home country of Panama. The two men were on the boat with a third, Blas Pitti, who was lucky enough to be rescued much earlier.
After hearing the news, grief-stricken Ruiz hired boats and helicopters, ultimately funding a private rescue mission separate of the search by the National Air and Navy Service of Panama (SENAN). After two days of searching, Ruiz’s friends were located and retrieved safely – having spent between 35-40 hours in the water.
Following the event, Ruiz shared the following with ThePostGame.
For almost two days, we were so worried,” Ruiz said. “We didn’t know if something was going to happen to them. I’m so happy they are OK. Now I can get back to the field.”
To read more about the mission, including the incredible details on how the men lasted so long at sea, click here.