Terry Stephen Puhl (born July 8, 1956 in Melville, Saskatchewan, Canada) is a former professional baseball outfielder. He played all or part of fifteen seasons in Major League Baseball, mostly for the Houston Astros. He is currently the head coach of University of Houston–Victoria's baseball team and manager of the Canada national baseball team.
Minor league career
Puhl was signed as an amateur free agent by the Houston Astros in 1973. He made his professional debut with the rookie-league Covington Astros the following season, batting .284. Over the next three seasons, he advanced through the Astros' farm system, playing with the single-A Dubuque Packers in 1975, then splitting the season between the double-A Columbus Astros and the triple-A Memphis Blues in 1976, and finally with the triple-A Charleston Charlies in 1977.
Major league career
Puhl was called up to the majors in July 1977, and never returned to the minor leagues. He was quickly installed as the club's regular left fielder, replacing Jim Fuller. In his first major league game on July 12, Puhl entered as a defensive replacement for Fuller. The following day he got his first hit in the 13th inning of a game against the Los Angeles Dodgers off relief pitcher Elías Sosa. Later that inning, he scored the winning run on Bob Watson's double. He finished the 1977 season with a .301 batting average in 60 games.
The following year he was the sole Astro selected as a National League All-Star. In the 1980 championship series against the Philadelphia Phillies, Puhl set a then NL-championship series record with a .526 batting average in a losing cause, the best performance ever by a hitter in a play-off series (It has since been superseded). As of 2010, Puhl has the ninth-best for lifetime fielding percentage by an outfielder (.993). In 1981, he was named Canadian Baseball player of the year.
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