On this date in Texas Rangers history, Pat Putnam hit a walk-off home run to lead the Rangers to a 9-8, 10-inning win over the Kansas City Royals at Arlington Stadium.
The game, played on May 3, 1981, saw just 12,974 fans go through the turnstiles. But they got to see an exciting game, punctuated by Putnam’s heroics.
Putnam hit seventh in that game, going 2-for-4 with two runs scored and 2 RBI. Putnam drove in a run on a double off Royals reliever Dan Quisenberry. His game-winning home run, which was his second home run of the season, came off Royals reliever Juan Berenguer as he led off the bottom of the 10th inning. Putnam deposited the homer over the right field fence.
The Royals nearly pulled off the win in this game, however. They scored seven runs in the sixth inning and another run in the seventh inning, giving Kansas City an 8-3 lead. The Rangers rallied for five runs — two in the seventh inning and three in the eighth inning.
Putnam, a native of Bethel, Vermont, spent most of his career with the Rangers. He was fourth in American League Rookie of the Year voting in 1979, when he hit a career-high .277 in his first full season in the Majors. He also hit 18 home runs and drove in 64 runs.
Putnam made his MLB debut in 1977 and played with the Rangers through the 1982 season. In 1983, Putnam moved on to the Seattle Mariners, and spent 64 games in 1984 with the Mariners before playing his final 14 games with the Minnesota Twins.
For 677 games, Putnam hit .255 with 63 home runs and 255 RBI.
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