Apr 6, 2012; Houston, TX, USA; Houston Astros former player Jose Cruz is introduced before a game against the Colorado Rockies at Minute Maid Park on Opening Day. Mandatory Credit: Brett Davis-US PRESSWIRE
In preparation for tonight game, the 80th on the season, let's look at one of the most popular players in Astros History.
Jose Cruz leads the Astros franchise with 80 triples, and it's not even close. Second on the list ins Joe Morgan with 63, third is Roger Metzger with 62, fourth is Terry Puhl with 56 and fifth is Craig Biggio with 55. Only Biggio has more plate appearances than Cruz.
Purchased from the St. Louis Cardinals in October of 1974, Cruz went on to play 13 years with the Astros. In his time with Houston he posted a 125 OPS+ and played solid defense posting a 1.4 dWAR.
Twice he posted triples in the double digits. First in 1977 (10) and then again in 1984 (13). Every year with Houston he had at least two triples, and his average was six. In 1978 he came one triple shy of reaching double digits for the second year in a row. In 1983 he lead the league in hits, eight of which were triples. In 1980 he finished third in MVP voting; that year he hit seven triples. His final three years with Houston, 1985-1987, he hit four triples each year.
The Astros did not resign Cruz in 1988. At the age of 40 Cruz signed with the New York Yankees and appeared in 38 games with them. He did not hit a triple in what would be his final year in Major League Baseball.