Rodolfo Puente Zamora
- Bats Right, Throws Right
- Height 5' 8", Weight 152 lb.
Rodolfo Puente was a regular on the Cuban national team for over a decade.
Puente first made a splash in 1967-1968 when he was named the second winner of the Serie Nacional Rookie of the Year, playing for La Habana. He hit only .167 in the 1969 Amateur World Series, his low-water mark for an international event.
Rodolfo hit .391 in the 1970 Central American and Caribbean Games and .296 in the 1970 Amateur World Series. His .429 average led the 1971 Amateur World Series (.022 ahead of Lázaro Pérez) and he was named MVP. He batted .333 in the 1971 Pan American Games, .310 in the 1972 Amateur World Series (he was named All-Star SS) and .354 in the 1973 Amateur World Series (again the All-Star at short). He hit .500/.548/.500 to lead the 1974 Central American and Caribbean Games in average (.056 over Alberto Lois). He had 6 runs and 8 RBI in 6 games. He tied Alfonso Urquiola and José Guerrero for 3rd in slugging and tied Evelio Hernández for 5th in RBI. He fielded .941, second among shortstops behind Pedro Avila.
In the 1975 Pan American Games, Rodolfo batted .333. He hit .462 in the 1976 Amateur World Series and .286 in the 1978 Central American and Caribbean Games. He played error-free ball at short in the 1978 Amateur World Series and batted .361/.410/.444 with nine runs in nine games. He kept on hitting in international tourneys with a .370 mark in the 1979 Pan American Games and .367 in the 1979 Intercontinental Cup. He was named the All-Star shortstop in the latter event.
In the 1979-1980 Serie Nacional, he led the league in a major event for the only time, hitting .394 to lead the circuit. He hit .361 in the 1980 Amateur World Series. In his 15th and last international event, Cuba failed to take Gold for the first time; he hit only .200 in that tourney, the 1981 Intercontinental Cup.
Overall, Rodolfo hit .276/.338/.330 in 16 seasons in Cuba, his greatest successes having come on the international stage. He fielded .958. Through 2009, he ranked among the all-time Serie Nacional leaders only in one department, errors (10th with 271).
After his playing career ended, Puente worked with COPABE and the Cuban Baseball Federation. He eventually became a vice president of the IBAF. He also managed the Brazilian national team in the 1995 Intercontinental Cup.