December 3, 1953 |
|September 2, 1977 for the Texas Rangers|
Last MLB appearance
|September 20, 1984 for the Minnesota Twins|
|Runs batted in||255|
Putnam was the Texas Rangers' first round pick in the 1975 Major League Baseball Draft out of the University of South Alabama. He'd been drafted a year earlier by the New York Mets, but did not sign. Putnam batted only .242 his first professional season in the Rangers' farm system, however, his batting average jumped to .361 with 24 home runs in 1976. After batting .301 with 15 home runs and 102 runs batted in for the triple A Tucson Toros in 1977, Putnam made his Major League debut as the designated hitter batting fourth against the Boston Red Sox on September 2.
Putnam again tore up the Pacific Coast League with Tucson in 1978, batting .309 with 21 home runs and 96 RBIs. He had only two RBIs with the Rangers that season, however, they were both big ones. He managed to drive in the only run in their 1-0 victory over the Seattle Mariners on September 22, and two days later, in the Rangers' 5-3 victory at Arlington Stadium over the Mariners, Putnam hit his first major league home run.
Putnam mostly appeared in the line-up as a designated hitter until on Monday, May 28, 1979, when regular Rangers first baseman Mike Jorgensen was hit in the head by a pitch from Boston Red Sox pitcher Andy Hassler. Putnam took over as the Rangers' regular first baseman for the next month. Putnam made the most of the opportunity and batter .277 with 18 home runs and 64 RBIs to finish fourth in Rookie of the Year balloting.
Putnam failed to live up to his early promise, and in 1982 found himself back in the minors with the Denver Bears of the American Association. During the off-season, he was traded to the Seattle Mariners for Ron Musselman.
After a season and a half in Seattle, Putnam was traded to the Minnesota Twins on August 29, 1984. He signed a minor league contract with the Kansas City Royals in 1985, and spent the entire season with their triple A affiliate, the Omaha Royals. He played two seasons in Japan for the Nippon Ham Fighters in 1986 and 1987 before retiring.
- "Seattle Mariners 0, Texas Rangers 1". Retrieved 1978-09-22.
- "To Bean Or Not To Bean - That Is The Question by Deb McIver". Retrieved 2008-08-11.