Todd Cruz

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The biggest move we made was when we got Todd Cruz from Seattle. General manager Hank Peters made a great move there. Leo Hernández, he was a little late in getting the ball to second base, and his range was a little shallow. Todd Cruz was playing shortstop for Seattle when we got him. We moved him over to third base. He had real good range and got rid of the ball real quick. He solidified our infield for the second half.

Shortstop Cal Ripken Jr. praised him even further:

In the first part of the year, we were going back and forth at third base. It was an issue for us. But when Todd Cruz came over and was put at third base, he went from a shortstop with real good range to a third baseman with great range. Defensively, with the type of pitching staff we had, he was very instrumental in taking hits away from the hole and turning double plays. And offensively, he contributed a lot in certain games. He allowed me to play further up the middle. I didn't have to shade toward the hole a little bit. As a matter of fact, it became the exact opposite. If there was a pull hitter up, I felt that with his range to the left, he could cover so much ground there, so I only needed to cover to that ground, and then I could position myself further up the middle. I think both of us were able to cover more of the left side of the infield because he had some great range.

Cruz, along with teammates at the bottom of the batting order Rick Dempsey and Rich Dauer, were famously nicknamed "The Three Stooges." Cruz was "Curly," while Dempsey and Dauer were "Moe" and "Larry," respectively. [8] After winning the American League Pennant three games to one over a former team of Cruz's, the White Sox, the Orioles captured the 1983 World Series Championship in five games over Cruz's original ballclub, the Phillies.

His MLB career came to an end on March 29, 1985, when he was released by the Orioles in spring training. Orioles teammate Gary Roenicke said of Cruz's two seasons in Baltimore, "Even though he'd played for many other teams, he always thought of himself as an Oriole. He had an outgoing personality ... and he kept everybody loose." [9]


Cruz died on September 2, 2008, at age 52, while swimming in the pool at the apartment complex where he lived in Bullhead City, Arizona. The efforts of bystanders and responding paramedics to revive him were unsuccessful. The cause of death was a heart attack. [10]


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  1. "Choose which Cruz is whose".
  2. Kantowski, Ron. "Pro ballplayer's story ends humbly in desert town." Associated Press at San Diego Union-Tribune . September 27, 2008. Retrieved on January 15, 2013.
  3. Durso, Joseph. "Angels Get Cowens In Deal With Royals," The New York Times, Friday, December 7, 1979. Retrieved May 25, 2022.
  4. Neft, David S., Cohen, Richard M. & Neft, Michael L. The Sports Encyclopedia: Baseball. 20th edition. New York: St. Martin's Griffin, 2000.
  5. "Chicago White Sox shortstop Todd Cruz, charged in the".
  6. Markus, Robert (May 21, 1981). "Cruz: I had a few drinks and let things get to me". Chicago Tribune . p. C1.
  7. "Cruz wins court 'discharge'". Chicago Tribune . July 15, 1981. p. C3.
  8. Fimrite, Ron. "He was Moe Than Philly Could Handle," Sports Illustrated, October 24, 1983.
  9. "Cruz, of Orioles' 1983 championship team, dies in swimming accident". 5 September 2008. Retrieved 4 June 2013.
  10. Klingaman, Mike. "Ex-Orioles infielder Todd Cruz dead at 52," The Baltimore Sun, Friday, September 5, 2008.
Todd Cruz
Todd Cruz.JPG
Shortstop / Third baseman
Born:(1955-11-23)November 23, 1955
Highland Park, Michigan, U.S.
Died: September 2, 2008(2008-09-02) (aged 52)
Bullhead City, Arizona, U.S.
Batted: Right
Threw: Right
MLB debut
September 4, 1978, for the Philadelphia Phillies
Last MLB appearance
September 30, 1984, for the Baltimore Orioles