Thursday, September 24, 2009

Jose Cruz:A Definite Childhood Favorite

When I was a young Johngy, Jose Cruz was one of my favorite players. I know what you are thinking, "but Johngy, Cruz was actually very good". Yes he was and I know I usually followed backup catchers and utility infielders, but Cruz was one of the exceptions.
Cruz played for 19 seasons, racking up 2251 hits while batting .284. He had an excellent career. His number is retired by the Houston Astros, the team for which he currently coaches.
Talking to Cruz was one of my main goals on the last trip. I was not to be denied. It took a while, as he was busy watching the Astros take batting practice, but we did get Cruz.
When Cruz answered our question, he mentioned his brother playing in Chicago. For whatever reason, I thought of Tommy (his brother who had brief stays with the Chicago White Sox and the St. Louis Cardinals).
Cruz corrected me and named Hector (his brother who played with the Chicago Cubs for parts of 3 seasons). Hector had a much better career than Tommy, although nowhere near as good as Jose.
My mistake was not realizing how little Tommy played in Chicago and the fact that if the Sox were in town, the Cubs were probably away, meaning Jose wouldn't have been here either. But hey, these are the kind of flubs a rookie makes, especially a rookie talking to one of his earliest favorites.  Thank you to Jose Cruz for lots of great baseball memories, including this latest one.

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