Bathed in the dusky haze of the afternoon sun, the smell of freshly mowed grass hovering as an undeniable harbinger of spring, the University of La Verne baseball and softball teams on April 8 don...
Bobby Ruiz ’08 visits La Verne to share his experiences as an athletic trainer in the Cleveland Indians organization with Athletic Training Education Program students.
One of La Verne’s institutional strengths is the engagement of alumni.
When Bobby Ruiz ’08, now an athletic trainer for the Cleveland Indians baseball organization, stopped by the University of La Verne campus on Oct. 18, there was no podium, no panel discussion, no suit. There was just Bobby, sitting on a stool, talking to La Verne students currently enrolled in the Athletic Training Education Program (ATEP).
Ruiz spoke for an hour about the path that led him to the Indians’ organization. Then he spoke for an hour about baseball-related upper extremity issues and the common injuries he deals with in the day-to-day health care of the professional baseball player.
“Bobby was pretty candid about not being the best student, not being the most awake at 8 a.m., nor being the most tactful person,” ATEP Director Paul Alvarez said. “However, he worked hard, got a passing score on the BOC, sought a challenge in going for the UConn Graduate Assistant position, and made himself successful. The students can relate to that.”
After graduating from La Verne in 2008, Ruiz passed the Board of Certification Examination (BOC) to become a Certified Athletic Trainer. He spent two years at the University of Connecticut, graduating in June of 2010 after earning his Master’s degree and spending two years as the athletic trainer for the Huskies baseball team. He is now in his third year as an athletic trainer in the Cleveland organization.
Ruiz married Alexandra (Wong) Ruiz, who graduated from University of La Verne in May 2008 with her undergraduate degree and in Winter of 2012 with her master’s degree. They now live in Arizona just a few blocks from the Indians’ spring training facility.
“Bobby is not Superman,” Alvarez said. “But, as our alums often note, he was sitting in the same place they are today, and made something of himself.”