To learn about our efforts to improve the accessibility and usability of our website, please visit our Accessibility Information page. Skip to section navigation or Skip to main content
Below is an advertisement.
Loading...
Loading...
Loading...
Loading...
Loading...
Loading...
Loading...
Loading...
Loading...
Loading...
Loading...
Loading...
Loading...
Loading...
Loading...

News

Skip to main content
Cruz leads Gold rush of 2003
Below is an advertisement.
11/05/2003  4:13 PM ET 
Cruz leads Gold rush of 2003
tickets for any Major League Baseball game
Jose Cruz Jr. took home his first Gold Glove Award in six seasons. (George Nikitin/AP)
SAN FRANCISCO -- Jose Cruz Jr. patrolled right field for the Giants like a guard dog all season, grabbing just about every fly ball that intruded on his territory.

And in every way possible and imaginable. Diving. Leaping. Sliding. Up against the wall. Many were spectacular, run-saving plays.

Over a team-high 158 games, Cruz made only two errors in 360 total chances for a .994 percentage. The sure-handed outfielder also set a San Francisco record with 18 outfield assists, prompting manager Felipe Alou to say in August that "they ought to give him the Gold Glove right now."

It didn't happen then, but the 28-year-old Cruz was rewarded for his outstanding defense on Wednesday, winning his first Gold Glove after six Major League campaigns.

Winners were picked by opposing managers.

2003 Gold Glove winners
 C Bengie Molina, ANA
1B John Olerud, SEA
2B Bret Boone, SEA
3B Eric Chavez, OAK
SS Alex Rodriguez, TEX
OF Ichiro Suzuki, SEA
OF Mike Cameron, SEA
OF Torii Hunter, MIN
P Mike Mussina, NYY
C Mike Matheny, STL
1B Derrek Lee, FLA
2B Luis Castillo, FLA
3B Scott Rolen, STL
SS Edgar Renteria, STL
OF Andruw Jones, ATL
OF Jose Cruz Jr., SF
OF Jim Edmonds, STL
P Mike Hampton, ATL

"He gets an incredible jump on any type of drive," said Alou. "You don't see him drop a ball if it hits his glove even under the most difficult of circumstances. I've never seen him make one mistake. Not since (Roberto) Clemente have I ever seen a person in right field that can get balls. He has no weaknesses.

"Clemente had a stronger arm than this kid, but that's the only thing I remember. Cruz keeps diving, jumping, gets the short hops. He's always on target with his throws, always hits the cutoff man."

Cruz will be long remembered for his infamous drop of a routine fly ball in Game 3 of the National League Division Series against the Florida Marins in Miami that partially cost them the defeat.

The club also left a record 18 men on base that game as well.

Despite his defensive abilities, the Giants have declined to pick Cruz's $4 milllion option for 2004, instead giving him a $300,000 buyout. Cruz batted .250 last season.

Rich Draper is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.



Giants Headlines
• More Giants Headlines
MLB Headlines