Rennie Stennett

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Rennie Stennett
Second baseman
Born: (1951-04-05) April 5, 1951 (age 63)
Colón, Panama
Batted: Right Threw: Right
MLB debut
July 10, 1971 for the Pittsburgh Pirates
Last MLB appearance
August 24, 1981 for the San Francisco Giants
Career statistics
Batting average .274
Hits 1,239
Runs batted in 432
Teams
Career highlights and awards
MLB Record: 7 hits in a nine-inning game on September 16, 1975

Renaldo Antonio Stennett Porte (April 5, 1951, in Colón, Panama), is a former second baseman in Major League Baseball. Stennett played with the Pittsburgh Pirates (1971–79) and San Francisco Giants (1980–81). He batted and threw right-handed. A World Series champion with the Pirates in 1979, Stennett shares the major league record for most hits in a game (with seven) and was a member of the first all-black starting lineup in the major leagues.

Career

In an 11-season career, Stennett was a .274 batter, with 41 home runs and 432 RBIs in 1,237 games.

Stennett was a good contact hitter with occasional power, and an aggressive and smart runner on the basepaths. As a fielder, he had sure hands and a strong and accurate arm for balls up the middle and double plays.

On September 1, 1971, Pittsburgh faced the Phillies with the first major league all-black starting lineup (including some Latin players). Stennett led off the game for the Pirates, who won 10–7.[1])

In his first three seasons with Pittsburgh, Stennett was used at shortstop and second base. He also played a solid defense at all three outfield positions, with an average arm and great reaction speed. He showed progress in 1973, when he hit 10 home runs and 55 RBIs in 128 games. Following the 1973 season, Pittsburgh traded incumbent second baseman Dave Cash to Philadelphia and gave Stennett the starting job. Batting from the leadoff spot, he responded with a .291 average, 84 runs, 56 RBI, and a career-high 196 hits.

On September 16, 1975, Stennett became the only player in the 20th century to have seven hits in seven at bats in a nine-inning game, as Pittsburgh routed the Cubs, 22–0. Stennett's first hit in that game came off starter Rick Reuschel and his seventh was off Rick's brother Paul Reuschel. Pittsburgh also set a major league record for the largest winning score in a shutout game in the modern era (later matched by the Cleveland Indians in 2004). He was the third player to collect seven hits in a single game, and the second to do it in a nine-inning game. With Stennett's position at second base secure in a line up loaded with young hitters such as Dave Parker, Richie Zisk, and Rich Hebner and complimented by veterans Willie Stargell and Manny Sanguillen, Pittsburgh traded up-and-coming second baseman Willie Randolph to the New York Yankees after the 1975 season.

On August 21, 1977, Stennett was batting .336 for the season, but he broke his right leg while sliding into second base. He was out for the year and had fewer than the required number of at bats or plate appearances (12), falling short of qualifying for the batting title, won by teammate Dave Parker (.338). In that season, Stennett collected a career-high 28 stolen bases. Stennett was a free agent at the end of the 1979 season and was signed by the San Francisco Giants to a five year, $3 million contract in what would be one of the first "busts" of the free agent era. The Giants would release Stennett in April of 1982, with three years remaining on and $2 million left on his contract. Not even 31 years of age, Stennett would never play in the majors again.

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