Community Outreach Executive
The 2020 season is Jose Cruz’ 37th with the Houston Astros, having spent five years as a special assistant to the general manager and the previous 13 seasons (1997-2009) as a coach for the Major League club. In his seventh year as a community outreach executive, Jose makes public appearances on behalf of the team and acts as an ambassador for the organization.
As an outfielder, the two-time All-Star had an 18-year Major League career, playing for the Cardinals (1970-74), Astros (1975-87) and Yankees (1988). Nicknamed “Cheo”, Jose is an Astros icon and held franchise records in games, at-bats, hits, total bases and triples at the time of his retirement after the 1988 season. His 80 career triples remain the franchise record.
Jose holds the distinction of being involved with the first nine of the Astros postseason appearances, three as a player (1980, ‘81 and ‘86) and six as a coach (1997-99, ‘01, ‘04-05). He was the Astros Team MVP four times and hit .300 six times in his career while stealing 317 bases.
Jose’s uniform No. 25 was retired by the Astros on Oct. 3, 1992, along with former teammate Mike Scott’s No. 33. They were the third and fourth numbers retired by the team. In 1999, Jose was selected by a panel of experts as one of the three outfielders on the franchise’s All-Astrodome team. In 2003, he was inducted into the Texas Baseball hall of Fame. On August 3, 2019, Jose was inducted into the Astros Hall of Fame as a part of the inaugural class.
Jose and his wife, Zoraida, make their home in Houston and have four children: Jose Javier, Jose Cheito, Shakira and Jose Enrique. His son, Jose Jr., was the first-round selection (third player overall) of the Seattle Mariners in the 1995 June free agent draft. Jose Jr. graduated from Bellaire (TX) High School and attended Rice University. He led Bellaire to the number one national ranking by USA Today and was a finalist for the Golden Spikes Award while at Rice.