José Cruz - Timeline

Astros Trades & Transactions

Oct 24, 1974:Paid cash to StL-N for Jose Cruz(OF)
Nov 9, 1987:Granted free agency to Jose Cruz(OF). Cruz signed with NY-A on Feb 25

This Date in Astros History

Oct 24, 1974:Astros purchase outfielder Jose Cruz from the Cardinals. Unable to crack the St. Louis lineup, the 27-year-old stars for the next 13 seasons in Houston. The best Astro player in the 1980s, Cruz has six seasons hitting over .300 and leads the team in RBIs seven times.
Apr 71975:Setting the baseball fashion world on its ear, the Astros introduce the rainbow uniform to major league baseball, humbling the Braves in a 6-2 season opener. Jose Cruz homers in his first game as an Astro.
Apr 291975:The Astros explode for eight runs in the seventh to topple the Padres, 8-2. J.R. Richard starts the scoring with a two-run single. Roger Metzger ends it in the same manner. Jose Cruz has two hits in the inning. Richard tosses a five-hitter.
Jul 301975:The first Houston player to homer in his first major league at bat is...reliever Jose Sosa. The blast comes at the Astrodome, a three-run shot off Danny Frisella during an 8-4 victory over San Diego. And to top it off, Sosa also earns his first big league save. The other five runs come on a three-run homer by Jose Cruz and a two-run shot by Doug Rader, who is celebrating his 31st birthday.
Aug 241975:Cliff Johnson hits a homer in his fifth straight game as Houston topples the Cubs, 8-4 . Jose Cruz goes deep twice and Bob Watson also plays long ball. Wilbur Howard adds four hits and swipes two bases. Larry Dierker sails to his 12th win.
Apr 211976:Jose Cruz ends a numbing 1-0 victory over the Dodgers in the 16th inning. Cruz singles off Stan Wall to score Larry Milbourne for the game's only run. Mike Barlow tosses one inning for the win after J.R. Richard pitched for ten and Ken Forsch threw for five.
Apr 4, 1977:Houston bombs the Rangers in a 16-6 exhibition win in Oklahoma City. Willie Crawford drives in five runs but the moment nobody forgets is when Bob Watson doubles into a double play. Texas catcher Bill Fahey tags out both Enos Cabell and Jose Cruz at the plate.
Jun 241977:Bob Watson belts a three-run triple off San Francisco's Bob Knepper in the first inning. He then doubles and hits a solo homer. In the eighth, he singles home Cesar Cedeno to become the second Astro to hit for the cycle. Watson has five RBIs in a 5-5 tie. Jose Cruz doubles home Wilbur Howard in the 11th for the 6-5 victory.
Jul 61977:After being called out on strikes by umpire Paul Pryor, Jose Cruz belts the game-winning homer in the 14th inning to give Houston a 2-1 triumph in Los Angeles. Cruz argues he has only two strikes on him and Pryor admits his mistake. Jose promptly sends the next pitch from Mike Garman into the right field stands.
Aug 11977:Jose Cruz blasts an 11th-inning bomb off Rich "Goose" Gossage to sink the Pirates, 4-3. Mark Lemongello goes the distance for the victory in spite of 14 Pittsburgh hits, four walks and four Houston errors, escaping bases-loaded jams in the ninth and tenth innings.
Sep 121977:Jose Cruz and Cesar Cedeno both sock a pair of homers, blasting Cincinnati, 7-2. Bob Watson belts another for good measure. Cedeno has four hits, including a triple. J.R. Richards whiffs eleven Reds for his 15th win.
Sep 131977:Houston bats stay hot in Cincinnati, destroying the Reds, 13-4, with six runs in the second and five more in the ninth. Cesar Cedeno provides four hits including a homer and a triple. Bob Watson belts a home run and drives in four while Jose Cruz plates three.
May 201978:J.R. Richard fires his second-straight shutout in a 13-0 drubbing of the Braves. Jose Cruz is the batting star with four hits and six RBIs. Enos Cabell contributes three hits while Denny Walling launches his first major league home run.
Jul 141978:Ken Forsch wins a pair of extra-inning contests against the Expos. Jose Cruz singles home the winning run in the 13th for a 4-3 victory in the opener after Reggie Baldwin tied it with a two-out single in the ninth. In the nightcap, Jesus Alou draws a bases-loaded walk for the game-winner in a 5-4, ten-inning triumph.
Sep 261978:Joe Niekro outduels his brother Phil in a 2-0 whitewash of the Braves and denies Phil a 20-win season. Joe allows seven hits then gives way to Ken Forsch in the ninth. Jose Cruz and Julio Gonzalez drive in the game's only runs.
Apr 101979:J.R. Richard ties a major-league record by throwing six wild pitches in a game against Los Angeles, but he also strikes out 13 in a 2-1 victory. Cesar Cedeno, Jose Cruz and Enos Cabell tag consecutive doubles off Burt Hooton in the fourth for the Houston runs.
Jun 181979:Craig Reynolds singles home Julio Gonzalez in the bottom of the 18th to outlast the Mets, 3-2. Bert Roberge takes the win. Jose Cruz adds four hits.
Jun 301979:J.R. Richard blanks the Padres on three hits, 3-0. Cesar Cedeno belts a homer and Jose Cruz adds three hits to spark the offense.
Jul 41979:Fireworks in Cincinnati. The upstart Astros nip the Reds, 3-2, to take their first-ever ten-game divisional lead. Jose Cruz and Jeff Leonard drive home runs in the seventh to lead the come-from-behind victory. Joaquin Andujar and Ray Knight, ex-teammates in the Cincy farm system, start a bench-clearing brawl after hurling insults across the diamond. Joe Sambito cools the Reds with two shutout innings for the save .
Jul 221979:Houston rallies for a 7-6 victory in St. Louis as Jose Cruz singles home Julio Gonzalez in the ninth for the game-winner. Terry Puhl homers. Enos Cabell and Jeff Leonard chime in with three hits apiece. Joe Sambito tosses two scoreless innings of relief for the win. It's just their second win in their past 14 games, shrinking what was a ten-game division lead two weeks ago down to four games.
Aug 211979:A bizarre ending comes to Pete Falcone's 5-0 shutout of Houston. Jeff Leonard gets three turns at bat. He flies out to right for the final out but an umpire had called time before the pitch. Three pitches later, Leonard singles while Met first baseman Ed Kranepool is sitting in the clubhouse. Finally, with Kranepool back on the field, Leonard flies out again. Houston wins the protest but Jose Cruz finishes it the next day, grounding out with Leonard on first.
Apr 221980:Nolan Ryan 's first win as an Astro comes in an 8-0 victory over Cincinnati. It's the initial dividend from baseball's first million-dollar-per-year contract. Ryan fans seven and walks six in seven innings. Jose Cruz is the star with three hits and five RBIs, including a bases-loaded triple in the first inning.
May 31980:Bill Virdon picks up his 356th win as a Houston manager, setting a team record, as the Astros edge St. Louis, 4-2. Vern Ruhle is the hero, going 8-2/thirds innings for the win, producing two hits and driving in a run. Terry Puhl and Jose Cruz supply two hits apiece. Joe Sambito nails the final out for the save.
May 61980:Cold, damp Olympic Stadium is where the Astros must wait through a rain delay of three hours and 50 minutes to complete an 8-4 victory. Jose Cruz has four RBIs to lead the Astros while Joe Niekro survives the weather and the Expos for a complete-game win.
May 281980:Enos Cabell singles home Jose Cruz in the second inning and Nolan Ryan makes it stand up for a 1-0 shutout over San Diego. Ryan fires a two-hitter, striking out seven.
Jun 111980:J.R. Richard blanks the Chicago Cubs, 3-0, extending his shutout innings steak to 31-2/third innings. He fans eight and walks three, allowing six hits yet says his arm doesn't feel right. Jose Cruz and Denny Walling give Richard all the support he needs with RBI singles in the first inning. The win marks the first homestand sweep in Houston history, taking six from the Giants and Cubs.
Jun 191980:Nolan Ryan and Joe Sambito team up to one-hit St. Louis, 2-0. Struggling with the flu, Ryan lasts seven innings before bowing out. Garry Templeton's third-inning double is the only Cardinal hit. Jose Cruz drives in both Astro runs with a single and sacrifice fly.
Jul 251980:Astros shock Montreal with seven runs in the ninth inning for a 9-8 triumph. Terry Puhl starts the rally with a blast off Steve Rogers then Jose Cruz, Enos Cabell and Alan Ashby each deliver two-run hits to complete the comeback. Ashby's double is his third hit. Frank LaCorte is the surprise winner.
Sep 61980:Art Howe ties a club record with his eighth consecutive hit, a two-run single that paces a 9-5 win over St. Louis. A grand slam by Jose Cruz highlights the 6-4 nightcap for a twinbill sweep, drawing the Astros to within one game of the Dodgers for the N.L. West lead. Vern Ruhle goes the distance in the second game. Ruhle's performance while replacing J.R. Richard after his stroke keeps the Astros in the pennant race.
Sep 101980:Jose Cruz slams a 12th-inning homer off Rick Sutcliffe at the Dome to cap a furious 6-5 victory over Los Angeles to tie the Dodgers for the N.L. West lead. Two Astros were thrown out at the plate earlier trying to score the winning run. Cruz had ignited two rallies that forced a 3-3 tie in regulation. Cesar Cedeno contributes four hits.
Sep 181980:Joe Morgan victimizes his ex-teammates with a tie-breaking two-run homer as Houston puts a 10-2 hurt on Cincinnati. Jose Cruz follows with a two-run shot of his own. The win keeps the Astros within a game of the Dodgers in the tight N.L. West race.
Sep 261980:Vern Ruhle tosses a four-hitter to blank Cincinnati, 2-0. Houston moves two games ahead of Los Angeles in the tight pennant race. The Astros manage just three hits themselves but an RBI single by Jose Cruz and a sacrifice fly by Craig Reynolds are enough.
Oct 71980:The first post-season game in Astros history is a 3-1 loss in Philadelphia in Game One of the N.L.C.S. Houston gets the first run when Gary Woods singles off Steve Carlton to score Jose Cruz. A two-run bomb by Greg Luzinski off Ken Forsch puts the Phillies ahead to stay.
Oct 81980:Houston tastes their first post-season win. It's a 7-4 ten-inning victory in Philadelphia to even the N.L.C.S. at 1-1. Frank LaCorte pitches out of a jam to send the game into extras at 3-3. Jose Cruz and Cesar Cedeno drive in runs in the tenth before Dave Bergman lashes a two-run triple to put the game out of reach.
Oct 121980:Houston has a 5-2 lead and needs six outs to reach the World Series. Nolan Ryan is on the mound. Philadelphia surges back to win in ten innings, 8-7, and take the National League pennant before a drained Astrodome crowd. Manny Trillo's triple caps a five-run Phillie rally but the Astros tie it on hits from Rafael Landestoy and Jose Cruz. Garry Maddox's sinking double breaks the tie then he snares Enos Cabell's fly to break Houston hearts. The ten-inning game is the fourth consecutive extra-inning game of the series.
Jun 41982:Ray Knight slaps a bases-loaded single then Jose Cruz follows with a three-run blast to snap a 3-3 tie in the eighth and claim an 8-3 victory over Philadelphia. Knight drives in four altogether.
Jul 51982:Joe Niekro gives up homers to Omar Moreno and Johnny Ray to start the game, then settles in for a 6-4 complete-game victory in rainy Pittsburgh. Jose Cruz and Phil Garner bail Niekro out with a home run and three RBIs apiece.
Jul 71982:Don Sutton notches his 250th career win, a 5-1 four-hit victory over the Cubs. It's Sutton's ninth of the year. Phil Garner drills a two-run shot and Jose Cruz plates the other two tallies.
Apr 241983:Mike LaCoss battles Steve Carlton to a 2-2 draw before Jose Cruz caps a three-hit night with the game-winner in the eleventh. Omar Moreno scores for the 3-2 win over Philadelphia.
May 91983:Phil Garner scores the winning run while ex-Astro Danny Heep argues the call of first base ump Terry Tata in a 6-4 victory over the New York Mets. Tata had ruled that Jose Cruz beat Heep to the bag on a roller to first. Nobody calls for time and Garner alertly speeds home. Garner's double off the third base bag had scored Omar Moreno and Dickie Thon to set up the go-ahead moment.
Jul 311983:Astros explode for seven runs in the seventh inning to tattoo the Reds, 9-2. A double by Omar Moreno gets the rally started while a two-run triple by Jose Cruz provides the key hit.
Sep 171983:Astros spoil "Johnny Bench Night" in Cincinnati with a 4-3 triumph. Bench delivers two hits including a two-run homer but Jose Cruz answers with a two-run shot. Mike Madden wins his eighth of the year.
Sep 201983:Jose Cruz smacks a two-run single and a grand slam to pace a 15-2 demolition of Los Angeles. Alejandro Pena, Burt Hooton and Pat Zachry are torched for 13 runs in the first four innings. Denny Walling chimes in with three hits, including two doubles and three RBIs. Nolan Ryan coasts to his 14th win.
Jun 71984:Jerry Mumphrey and Craig Reynolds crack two-run homers to pace the Astros to a 14-5 thumping in San Francisco. Terry Puhl has four hits while Jose Cruz and Bill Doran each contribute three. Joe Niekro is the beneficiary.
Jul 11984:Jerry Mumphrey cracks two home runs and drives in six as the Astros maul the Phillies, 13-1. Denny Walling also homers. Jose Cruz has a four-hit night and scores four times. Craig Reynolds and Terry Puhl chime in with triples. Joe Niekro scatters six hits in an easy victory.
Jul 151984:Alan Ashby singles home Jose Cruz in the 16th inning to outlast the Phillies, 3-2. Houston leaves 20 runners on base and ties a league record by drawing seven intentional walks, all after the 11th frame. A two-run blast by Mark Bailey provided the other runs.
Jul 241984:Enos Cabell, Phil Garner and Jose Cruz slug back-to-back-to-back homers off Mark Davis to highlight a nine-run inning that dooms the Giants, 10-3, at Candlestick Park. Cruz homers again to ice the cake. Shortstop Bert Pena gets his first two big league RBIs on two separate singles in the fateful fifth inning.
Aug 221984:Jose Cruz rips a grand slam in a seven-run second inning as Houston coasts to an 8-3 triumph over the Cubs. Phil Garner also homers. Nolan Ryan scatters five hits and strikes out 12 as he goes the distance.
Aug 281984:Ray Knight is traded to the Mets for Gerald Young and two other prospects. Houston stages a three-run rally in the eighth to nip the Pirates, 3-2. Terry Puhl's suicide squeeze scores Jose Cruz after Jerry Mumphrey tied it with a two-run single. The Astros move into second place, nine games behind San Diego.
Sep 251984:Phil Garner goes 4-for-5 to pace a 12-6 win at Dodger Stadium. Houston pounds Orel Hershiser for five runs in the second but Los Angeles gets to Joe Niekro for six runs in the bottom of the frame. No problem. The Astros tally four more times the next inning and then it rains. Niekro staggers to his 16th win while Jose Cruz and Alan Ashby go deep.
Apr 141985:In a battle between the major-league's top two strikeout artists of all time, Nolan Ryan defeats Steve Carlton and the Phillies, 6-3. Ryan increases his career strikeout lead over Carlton to ten (3,887 to 3,877). Jose Cruz supports with three hits.
Apr 201985:Joe Niekro and Frank DiPino combine on a two-hitter for an 8-1 victory over Atlanta. Jose Cruz drives in four while Brave-killer Craig Reynolds has two hits, including a homer.
Jul 51985:Kevin Bass launches two solo homers to pace a 4-2 triumph over Montreal. Jose Cruz drives in the other two runs to set a new franchise mark for RBIs (783), since broken by Jeff Bagwell.
Jul 281985:Craig Reynolds bangs out four hits as Houston bombs the Mets, 12-4. Mark Bailey and Jose Cruz contribute three hits each in the 19-hit effort. The New Yorkers are gracious hosts, giving the Astros four errors to work with. They ought to be since the Astros giftwrapped 16 unearned runs in a doubleheader fiasco the day before.
Sep 151985:Glenn Davis blasts a solo shot in the bottom of the eighth off Craig Lefferts for a 2-1 victory over San Diego. Jose Cruz notches the 2,000th hit of his career. Meanwhile, Joe Niekro is dealt to the New York Yankees for pitcher Jim Deshaies and two other prospects.
Jun 291986:Houston regains first place in a 2-1 nailbiter over Fernando Valenzuela and the Dodgers. Craig Shipley and Alex Trevino team up for the only Dodger run but they give it back in the seventh when a bad throw by Shipley puts Phil Garner aboard then a dropped third strike by Trevino puts Glenn Davis on base. Kevin Bass drives in Garner then Jose Cruz dribbles a 20-foot roller that Valenzuela must eat while the winning run scores.
Aug 81986:Jose Cruz celebrates his 39th birthday with his 1,000th career RBI during a 5-0 blanking of San Diego. His two-run single caps a four-run sixth inning. Mike Scott goes the distance for his third shutout of the season. Scott leads the league in ERA (2.16) and strikeouts (217).
Aug 111986:In a nationally-televised game marred by several fielding and baserunning gaffes, the Astros rally to nip the Dodgers, 7-6. Alan Ashby's bases-loaded double in the ninth off Ken Howell is the game-winner. Jose Cruz ignites a two-run eighth with a solo shot off Tom Niedenfuer.
Sep 61986:A two-run homer in the bottom of the ninth by Jose Cruz off Todd Worrell stuns the Cardinals, 7-6. Glenn Davis also homers and drives in three. Charley Kerfeld wins his ninth in relief.
Apr 61987:Jose Cruz homers off the Dodgers' Orel Hershiser to lead the defending N.L. West champion Astros to a 4-3 season-opening triumph. Alan Ashby contributes a two-run single. Dave Smith pitches the last two innings to seal the win for Mike Scott.
Jun 11987:Jose Cruz lofts a home run to left in the top of the tenth inning off ex-Astro Frank DiPino to topple the Cubs, 6-5. Kevin Bass also homers and drives in four. All five Chicago runs come from the bat of Andre Dawson who slugs two long balls but fans in his final trip up at the hands of Dave Smith.
Jun 261987:Craig Reynolds blasts two homers and drives in five to power the Astros over the Giants, 9-6, at Candlestick Park. Alan Ashby and Denny Walling also go deep while Jose Cruz contributes three hits.
Feb 25, 1988:Unwanted in Houston, 40-year-old Jose Cruz signs with the New York Yankees, ending an impressive 13-year run as an Astro. Houston will receive a compensation draft pick for the free agent signing.
Oct 31992:Mike Simms drives home Craig Biggio in the 13th for a 3-2 victory over the Dodgers. Jose Cruz (#25) and Mike Scott (#33) have their jersies retired, the first two not to be honored posthumously by the ballclub.