Héctor Louis Cruz Dilan
- Bats Right, Throws Right
- Height 5' 11", Weight 170 lb.
- High School Carmen Bozello de Huyke School
- Debut August 11, 1973
- Final Game July 15, 1982
- Born April 2, 1953 in Arroyo P.R.
Héctor Cruz is the brother of Jose Cruz and Tommy Cruz. He is also the uncle of Jose Cruz Jr., Jose E. Cruz and Cirilo Cruz. The three brothers - Hector, Jose Sr. and Tommy - were teammates on the St. Louis Cardinals late in the 1973 season. They and the three Alou brothers 10 years earlier (Felipe, Matty and Jesus) are the only sets of three brothers to have played together on the same major league team in the 20th century.
Cruz showed flashes of power early in his career with the St. Louis Cardinals. He had a great season in AAA in 1975, hitting .306 with 29 homers and 116 RBI for the Tulsa Oilers of the American Association. After the season, the Cards traded incumbent Ken Reitz to give the starting third baseman's job to Héctor. He was the regular at the position in 1976, hitting .228 with 17 doubles, 13 homers and 71 RBI in 151 games. After the season, St. Louis reacquired Reitz and put him back at third base, while Cruz would play mainly in the outfield for the rest of his career. In 1977, he hit .236 with 19 doubles and 6 homers in 118 games playing mostly right field.
Acquired by the Chicago Cubs in 1978, his bat was a disappointment and he was dealt to the San Francisco Giants at the June 15 trading deadline. In 1979, he was traded in mid-season to the Cincinnati Reds in return for reliever Pedro Borbon and played there for a year and a half as a back-up outfielder. Cruz had a second go-around with the Cubs in 1981-1982 but again failed to produce. The outfielder-third baseman hit just .255 with 39 home runs in his 10 major league seasons. Cruz played one season for the Yomiuri Giants following his departure from the majors but hit just .240 with 4 home runs.
- 1975 Minor League Player of the Year, Tulsa Oilers, American Association
- 1973 Player of the Year Texas League Arkansas Travelers
- 1975 MVP American Association, Tulsa Oilers