11/22/2006 11:41 AM ET
Biggio: A career alongside Jose Cruz Sr.
I remember the first time I met Jose Cruz Sr. The first thing he said to me was, "Hey, bat boy, go get me a cup of coffee." I was 23 at the time and I replied, "Mr. Cruz, I have a number on my back, but I would be happy to get you a cup of coffee."
"Jose is part of the Astros' tradition," says Craig Biggio of Jose Cruz Sr. (David J. Phillip/AP)
Jose is part of the Astros' tradition. His number is hanging in the rafters here at Minute Maid. He's been a great model. He was a great player in his day and he's a great coach. He does a lot of great things and he's a pleasure to be around.
The name Cruz definitely transcends baseball here in Houston. They haven't forgotten him. There's still a big fan base for him here. Whenever they mention his name, the crowd gets that "Cruuuuuuuuuuz" thing going. It's nice because it shows that the fans do remember what he has done for the organization and the city.
He does have a heavy Latin base of fans, but it's not specific to them. He has fans of every race and age.
He was always a passionate player and remains that way now as a coach. He has passion for the game and loves the game. He's always upbeat and always expects to win. He does a solid job over there as a first base coach. He does his job well.
His son, Jose Jr., has had a long and successful career. That family has pretty good genes, just taking into consideration him and his son alone. I have three kids, two boys, and I can only imagine the feeling that he has when his kid plays. He's got another kid in the Minor Leagues, too.
If you were him, you just could not have written a better story.
Future Hall of Famer Craig Biggio has played all 19 of his big-league seasons with Houston, a franchise record, and recently signed on for his 20th. Former Astros left fielder Jose Cruz Sr. had his No. 25 jersey retired by the franchise in 1992. He has been involved in all nine Houston postseason appearances -- three as a player and six as a coach.>