Rennie Stennett, Pirate Who Had Seven Hits in a Game, Dies at 72


Rennie Stennett, a former second baseman for the Pittsburgh Pirates who in 1975 turned solely the second main leaguer to get seven hits in a nine-inning game, died on Tuesday at his daughter’s dwelling in Coconut Creek, Fla. He was 72.

The trigger was colon most cancers, his daughter, Renee Lugo, mentioned.

Stennett performed 9 seasons for Pittsburgh, a interval of nice success for the group. The Pirates gained the World Series in 1971 and 1979, completed first in their division 5 occasions, and had a highly effective lineup with hitters like Roberto Clemente, Willie Stargell, Dave Parker, Manny Sanguillen and Al Oliver.

Stennett was hitting .278 on Sept. 16, 1975, when he led off towards the Chicago Cubs’ beginning pitcher, Rick Reuschel. He hit a double after which, because the Pirates batted round in the primary inning, hit a run-scoring single off the reliever Tom Dettore. The Pirates scored 9 runs in all.

In the third, Stennett once more singled off Dettore; in the fifth, he batted twice, doubling off Dettore after which singling in a run towards Oscar Zamora to make the rating 18-0. He was alerted to the potential for a six-hit game by the second base umpire, Dutch Rennert.

He bought his sixth hit, a single, in the seventh, then tripled in the eighth for his seventh. That tied the document for hits in a nine-inning game, set in 1892 by catcher Wilbert Robinson of the Baltimore Orioles.

“I thought someday that I might get five hits in a game, but I never dreamed I’d get seven,” Stennett advised reporters after the Pirates’ 22-0 trouncing of the Cubs.

Reinaldo Antonio Stennett was born on April 5, 1949, in Colon, Panama, and raised in the Canal Zone. His father labored on tugboats on the canal. Early on, Rennie attracted curiosity from a number of main league groups however waited to signal with the Pirates till he graduated from highschool.

He was referred to as as much as the Pirates throughout the 1971 season after batting .344 at Pittsburgh’s Triple-A group in Charleston, W.Va. He hit .353 — boosted by an 18-game hitting streak — for the Pirates over 50 video games.

Stennett had made historical past earlier than his seven-hit game: On Sept. 1, 1971, in a game towards the Philadelphia Phillies, he was the leadoff hitter for baseball’s first all-Black and Latino starting lineup.

“When it comes to making out the lineup, I’m colorblind,” the Pirates’ supervisor, Danny Murtaugh, advised reporters after the game. “And my athletes know it.”

After taking part in a number of positions in his first three seasons, Stennett turned the group’s beginning second baseman in 1974, taking on for Dave Cash.

Stennett was having his greatest yr in 1977, batting .336, when he fractured his proper leg and dislocated his ankle sliding into second base in late August. His season was over, 12 plate appearances wanting qualifying for the National League batting title, which his teammate Dave Parker gained with a .338 common.

“If he had not broken his ankle, I personally felt he was Hall of Fame-bound,” Al Oliver advised The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette after Stennett’s dying. “I have never seen a second baseman with his range. Ever. He could have been the best athlete on our team.”

Stennett batted .243 and .238 the subsequent two seasons; he had just one at-bat (he singled) throughout the 1979 World Series, in which Phil Garner began every game at second base. The Pirates — a freewheeling group whose theme tune was Sister Sledge’s “We Are Family” — gained in seven video games over the Orioles.

He left the Pirates to signal a five-year, $three million free agent contract with the San Francisco Giants. But he lasted solely two seasons — his common was a mixed .242 — earlier than being launched.

“It was the worst experience of my life,” Stennett advised The Boston Globe, recalling how the Giants’ managers, first Dave Bristol after which Frank Robinson, “resented the money I got.”

“The money — it changes a lot of people,” he added. “They look at your different, and you can’t say anything.”

He held on a bit longer, taking part in in the Mexican League in 1982 and for the Montreal Expos’ prime minor league group in 1983. He tried to make a comeback with the Pirates in 1989 however was reduce throughout spring coaching.

After retiring from baseball, he labored with the Pirates on advertising and marketing and charity occasions.

In addition to his daughter, Stennett is survived by his sons, Roberto and Rennie Jr.; 4 grandchildren; and a number of other siblings.



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