The Houston Astros offered Terry Puhl a contract after he led his hometown midget squad to a Canadian championship in 1973. The fleet-footed youngster would report to Houston’s rookie league club in Covington, Virginia, in 1974, where he would hit .284 and cement his status as a bona fide prospect.
Just five days after his 21st birthday, the wide-eyed Saskatchewan native would start his first big league game against the Los Angeles Dodgers. So nervous he was shaking, Puhl would overcome his jitters to record his first hit and score the game-winning run. He would go on to hit .301 in 60 games that season and win himself a starting role in 1978.
His steady offensive and defensive efforts would earn him all-star honors in 1978, when he hit .289 and stole 32 bases. He would top that the following campaign, when he recorded a career-high 172 hits and played 157 games – the entire season – in the outfield without making an error. He was just the fourth player in 124 years to suit up for at least 150 games in a season without a defensive miscue.
After belting a career-high 13 homers in the regular season, Puhl was at his best in the 1980 post-season, hitting .526 in the Astros’ grueling, five-game National League Championship Series against the eventual World Champion Philadelphia Phillies. A consistent contributor for the Astros over the next decade, the sure-handed Canuck played his final season with the Kansas City Royals in 1991. In more recent years, Puhl has served as the manager of Canada’s national team.
Career Major League Statistics
For career season by season statistics click HERE.