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Monday, January 2, 2023

Chuck Ricci paid his dues over nine seasons, then made bigs for seven games; Later became scout

Phillies minor leaguer Chuck Ricci expressed some surprise at his major league call in September 1995, his first, The Camden Courier-Post wrote.

But, after nine seasons in the minors, he felt he was ready, The Courier-Post wrote.

"I've definitely paid my dues," Ricci told The Courier-Post then. "Now, I have to prove to people that I belong here."

Ricci ultimately saw seven outings for the Phillies that September. Those outings proved the extent of his big league career. Ricci has since gone on to a career as a scout, as young players attempt to prove they belong in the pros themselves.

Ricci's career began in 1987, taken by the Orioles in the fourth round of the draft out of Shawnee High School in New Jersey.

Ricci started with the Orioles at rookie Bluefield, spending his first two seasons there. He went 5-5 his first year there, with a 6.50 ERA. He pitched into the sixth inning in one July game, picking up the win, The Johnson City Press wrote.

"I didn't have the best control, but I just tried to throw strikes and not let 'em hit it," Ricci told The Press afterward. "It was a big adjustment coming here out of high school, but I'm learning."

He moved to single-A Waterloo for 1989. He went 10-12, with a 2.98 ERA with Waterloo. He played 1990 and 1991 at high-A Frederick, then saw AA for the first time at Hagerstown in 1992. 

Ricci made Rochester for four games in 1993. He signed with the Phillies for 1994 and spent the year at AA Reading and AAA Scranton/Wilkes Barre. Around that time, Ricci served as an extra in the movie Major League II.

For 1995, he returned to Scranton. He went 4-3 over 68 relief outings. He saved 25, with a 2.49 ERA. Then, in September, he made Philadelphia.

In his seven appearances with the Phillies, Ricci gave up two earned runs in 10 innings and picked up a win.

Ricci played two more seasons, at AAA with the Phillies, Red Sox, Athletics and Expos, to end his career.

Ricci soon turned scout. He started with the Indians, then joined the Rays as a national crosschecker in 2013. In October 2022, the Rays promoted Ricci to the organization's director of amateur scouting.

"We're lucky to have a talented amateur staff that’s prepared for greater duties, and it starts with Chuck," Rays president of baseball operations Erik Neander said in a statement, according to "He's approachable, collaborative, and as a leader, he will bring out the very best in our operation."

1990 Minor League Tally 
Players/Coaches Featured:4,104
Made the Majors:1,360-33.1%-X
Never Made Majors:2,744-66.9%
5+ Seasons in the Majors:553
10+ Seasons in the Minors:336

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