Amaro, now a first base coach for the New York Mets, appeared only briefly, being turned down as a chaperone for a class ski trip. Dejected, Amaro Jr.-as-Amaro Sr. responded that his son “loves that trip,” and was told to sit down.
Here’s former Phillies GM Ruben Amaro Jr. (playing his father, Ruben Amaro Sr., on tonight’s episode of The Goldbergs) being told to sit down and shut up. pic.twitter.com/gvNjtbSduq
— Matt Mullin (@matt_mullin) January 4, 2018
Fans of the show know that wasn’t the first shout-out to the Amaros. Amaro Jr. has been played on the show by Nikko Guardado, son of former pitcher and current Minnesota Twins bullpen coach Eddie Guardado. Phillies games at Veterans Stadium and Flyers games at the Spectrum have also been used as plot devices.
All the Philly-centric references are courtesy of Goldbergs creator and executive producer Adam F. Goldberg, a Jenkintown native and graduate of William Penn Charter School, which is also Amaro Jr.’s alma mater. They didn’t know each other in school but were later introduced by former Comcast Spectacor public relations vice president Ike Richman.
“When I attended Penn Charter, all people would talk about was this legendary dude who made it,” Goldberg says. “Ruben was there the same time as my brother Barry, but my brother was a nerd, so there’s no way Ruben would have known him.”
Goldberg says he tends to use the show as a way to pay tribute to his real-life heroes, and if he “can get a cameo out of it, even better.”
“We shared a ton of laughs and reminisced about Penn Charter,” he said of working with Amaro.
Amaro said that his time on the set was an honor, and that he was happy to meet the show’s stars as a fan.
“My family and I are big fans of the show. My kids always laugh when they see my younger character on the show. I’m not sure it’s a real portrayal of me back in high school, but we get a kick out of it,” he said, adding that he was also happy to pay tribute to his father.
Phillies fans reacted on Twitter, with some ribbing Amaro for his embattled time with the team, which ended in 2015. Among some of his most controversial moves were extending Ryan Howard’s contract by five years and $125 million, trading away and bringing back Cliff Lee, and a disastrous $50 million contract for relief pitcher Jonathan Papelbon. Other fans simply couldn’t believe their eyes:
Saw Ruben Amaro Jr. playing Ruben Amaro Sr. on the Goldbergs. Finally found something he can do.
— Archibald Thebrim (@SportsArchie) January 4, 2018
— Matthew Landis (@phoreveraphan16) January 4, 2018
— Ryan Goldstein (@PSUGOLD) January 4, 2018
@JSalisburyNBCS Just wondering how many local baseball folks caught Ruben Amaro Jr. playing his father in a cameo on tonight’s episode of “The Goldbergs”.
— Greg Glade (@ggld) January 4, 2018
Ruben Amaro Jr. was just on The Goldbergs 😂😂
— Kirsten Swanson (@kswan5) January 4, 2018