Luis Alfonso Cruz Sr. has been around the block. He was a heck of a ballplayer in his day, putting together a solid 16-year career in the Mexican League — and there were chances to play in the U.S., but he stayed close to home for his family. These days, he’s a hitting coach for Tomateros de Culiacan in the Mexican Pacific League.

This past winter, before helping mentor Culiacan to the Mexican Pacific League championship, he lent his ear and experience to his son, Chiba Lotte Marines infielder Luis Cruz, who is hoping to add another Pacific League crown, this one from Japan, to the family mantle.

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