The Seattle Mariners, along with the rest of the MLB family, are mourning the loss of former player and broadcaster Julio Cruz. On Wednesday, the team's official handle announced Cruz's untimely death.
"We are saddened by the passing of original Mariner and current broadcaster Julio Cruz," the Mariners tweeted. "Cruz played six seasons in Seattle and has worked as a Spanish-language broadcaster since 2003. Our thoughts are with his loved ones, including his wife, three sons and their families."
Cruz began his decade long MLB career with Seattle back in 1977. The Brooklyn-born second baseman spent the bulk of his career with the Mariners before playing a few seasons with the White Sox on the backend of his career.
Prior to Ichiro Suzuki's arrival in the Pacific Northwest, Julio Cruz was the Mariners all-time leading base stealer. Swiping 43-plus bags six straight seasons from 1978-1983 with an incredible 83.5 percent success rate.
Over the course of his 10 years in Major League Baseball, Cruz logged 1156 games between Seattle and Chicago, batting .237/.321/.299 with 23 homers, 113 doubles, 27 triples and 343 stolen bases.
The 'Cruzer' was described as the "igniter" of the 1983 Western Division champion White Sox. With White Sox owner Jerry Reinsdorf saying, "When Roland Hemond acquired him that summer, the team just took off." Noting Cruz's contagious positive energy.
Our sincerest condolences go out to Cruz's family and loved ones. As well as the Mariners, White Sox and the hearts he touched along the way.
Julio Cruz was 67-years-old.