1978 Topps Julio Cruz
It seems like this is happening day after day, but we lost another one this week. Former Seattle Mariners & Chicago White Sox speedster, Julio Cruz, passed away.
It's getting harder and harder dealing with so many players of my youth leaving us, especially a young guy not ye 70 like Cruz.
My memories of Julio Cruz are limited and are mostly from baseball cards. He was one of those guys with little power, decent bat control, and very good speed. You have to remember, back in the 70s and 80s, you would never see Mariners' games on television. I probably didn't see a Mariners' game on TV at all in my younger years.
Today, there are few players who would last 10 years in the big leagues who put up numbers like Cruz. It was a different game back then. More fun in some ways. Definitely more memorable. Players who could field and put the bat on the ball are utility players, but not starters for more than half of their 10 year career. Hitting only 23 homeruns in nearly 4,000 at bats would be a rarity in today's game.
Lastly, who doesn't love the original Mariners' logo? You can't see it on this card, but it was one of the cooler logos in baseball during its brief time. Cruz was a good player on some really bad teams. Probably a utlity player in baseball today, things were much different back then.
Rest in Peace, Julio Cruz, you will be missed!