On this date in Texas Rangers history, Rusty Greer did what he did throughout his career: make big plays at the plate and in the outfield.
On June 2, 1995, Greer hit a pinch hit two-run home run in the bottom of the ninth to lead the Rangers to a walk-off 6-5 victory over the Minnesota Twins at The Ballpark in Arlington.
It was just one swing of the bat for Greer, who pinch hit for Jack Voigt, who pinch-hit for second baseman Jeff Frye. It was Greer’s fourth home run of the season and helped reliever Roger McDowell to his first victory of the season.
That season was Greer’s first full season with the Rangers, where he hit .271 with 13 home runs and 61 RBI.
Greer was the epitome of perseverance in Major League Baseball. He played college baseball at University of Montevallo, a program that is now in NCAA Division II. Greer caught the attention of Rangers scouts, and in 1990, the Rangers selected Greer in the 10th round of the MLB Draft.
Greer moved up a rung in the minor league system each year until 1994, when, as part of the Triple-A Oklahoma City 89ers, Greer earned a call-up to the Rangers. He made an immediate impact, hitting his first career home run in his second Major League at-bat, becoming the second Rangers player to accomplish that feat (Ruben Sierra was the first). Later that season, Greer made two of the most significant catches in center field during Kenny Rogers’ perfect game.
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Greer never made an All-Star team and played just nine seasons in the Majors. But he played for three American League West champions and became a fan favorite, leading to his induction into the Texas Rangers Hall of Fame.
Also on this date …
June 2, 1994: Ben Grieve was selected No. 2 overall by the Oakland Athletics in the MLB amateur draft. While insignificant to the Rangers as a team, it was significant to his father, then-Rangers general manager Tom Grieve. The Grieves became the first father and son to be selected in the first round of the MLB amateur draft in history. The elder Grieve was selected No. 6 overall by the Washington Senators (later the Texas Rangers) in 1966.
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