Five minutes with Darin Ruf

Ruf
Ruf
Posted: August 02, 2011

Playing at: Clearwater

Position: First base/outfield

Height: 6-3. Weight: 220.

Age: 25.

Born: July 28, 1986, in Omaha, Neb.

Bats: Right. Throws: Right.

College: Creighton.

How obtained: Selected by the Phillies in the 20th round (No. 617 overall) in 2009

MVC MVP: Won the Joe Carter Award as the Missouri Valley Conference player of the year as a sophomore. Carter (Wichita State) was the league's MVP in 1980 and 1981.

This season: Is hitting .310 in 101 games with 11 homers and 63 RBI.

Awkward position: Ruf was a two-time Gold Glove first baseman at Creighton, but was mostly playing the outfield at Clearwater while super-prospect Jonathan Singleton played first. With Singleton gone to the Astros in the Hunter Pence deal, Ruf is playing first again.

Parental guidance: His dad (Bill) is a guidance counselor and his mom (Mary) is an elementary schoolteacher in a poor neighborhood in Omaha. "She wanted to touch the underprivileged kids and try to do as much for them as she could," he said.

Yer out!: Worked as an an umpire for 3 months while in college for $35 per game. "I always try to remind myself how difficult it is when I disagree with a call," he said. "I don't think I've ever gotten thrown out of a game. I definitely have an appreciation for their job."

One f, please: It's not unusual for his last name to get mangled, unfortunately. "Most Rufs you see are with two Fs and that's how most people around the organization spell it too when I happen to report for early workouts or something," he laughed. "My name is always misspelled on the boards."

Person in history he'd most like to meet: Omaha native and Nebraska football legend Johnny Rodgers, the 1972 Heisman Trophy winner.

Major experience: Played for former Milwaukee Brewer Jim Gantner in the Northwoods League for college players the summer after sophomore year. "Some of his tirades during the game toward the umpires just proved how passionate he was for doing things the right way," hs said diplomatically.

Ballpark he'd love to play in (besides CBP): Wrigley Field.

Most memorable athletic moment: Winning the 2007 MVC championship, the first in school history. Creighton needed three runs in the bottom of the 11th to tie it and won it in the 12th.

Most disappointing: His senior year in high school when he got hurt taking a charge during a basketball game. He missed about 6 weeks with stress fractures in his lower back. "It was probably a good learning experience because it taught me how much I don't like sitting out," he said.

Dream dinner guests: His fiancée Libby, his college coach Ed Servais and legendary Nebraska football coach Tom Osborne. Ruf's restaurant of choice would be the Sushi Spot in nearby Largo, Fla.

Looking ahead: Ruf had an interesting take on the trade deadline, which is an anxious time for many minor leaguers. "It's kind of interesting to see what the Phillies are thinking in trying to improve themselves. I like to pay attention to things like that in case, hopefully, one day, if I'm ever in a managerial or front-office position. It's fun to see what kind of goes on in their minds."

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