On this date in Texas Rangers history, outfielder Juan González added another milestone to his highly productive Major League and Rangers career.
On June 5, 2002, González became the 34th MLB player, and the first from Puerto Rico, to hit 400 career home runs. He achieved the milestone with a second-inning home run off Anaheim’s Jarrod Washburn.
By this point, González was nearing the end of his MLB career. The two-time American League MVP had been traded by the Rangers to the Detroit Tigers after the 1999 season. But he never quite fit in with the Tigers.
He was gone after one season and signed with Cleveland for the 2001 season. There, he regained his MVP form, hitting 35 home runs and finishing fifth in MVP voting that season.
That was enough to interest the Rangers in a reunion, and González signed a two-year deal. He hit eight home runs in 70 games in 2002, and then had one final solid season with 24 home runs in 2003. After that, he played 33 games with Kansas City in 2004 and one game with Cleveland in 2005 before his 17-year career ended.
González did finish his career with 434 home runs, which remains one of the top totals among Puerto Rican-born players in Major League history. He is also a member of the Texas Rangers Hall of Fame.
Also on this date …
June 5, 1973: The Rangers selected Westchester (Houston, Texas) High School pitcher David Clyde with their first-round pick. The 18-year-old went 18-0 with fourteen shutouts and five no-hitters in high school. The Rangers also passed on two future Hall of Famers to select Clyde — Dave Winfield and Robin Yount.
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