The Pittsburgh Pirates announced that infielder Rennie Stennett has passed away at 72 years old. He was with the Pirates during the 1971 and 1979 seasons. He’s most known for tying the record of going 7-for-7 in a nine-inning game on September 16, 1975.
We are saddened to relay the news that a beloved member of the Pirates family, Rennie Stennett, passed this morning at the age of 72.
Our thoughts and prayers are with the Stennett family as we join in their grief. pic.twitter.com/K7ao9X0DEY
— Pirates (@Pirates) May 18, 2021
Here’s his bio from our site:
Rennie Stennett, second baseman for the 1971-79 Pirates. The Pirates signed him as an international amateur free agent out of Panama at 17 years old in February of 1969, and it took just two seasons for him to have an impact in the majors at 20 years old. Stennett debuted in Low-A with Gastonia of the Western Carolinas League in 1969, where he hit .288 in 107 games, with a .709 OPS. He moved up to Salem of the Carolina League in 1970 and he hit .326, with 20 doubles, nine triples and five homers in 131 games. Stennett jumped over Double-A in 1971 and it proved to be a smart move. He tore up Triple-A, batting .344 with 30 extra-base hits in 80 games before joining the Pirates. After coming up in early July, he hit .353 in 50 games, including 33 starts at second base. The Pirates went on to win the World Series, but he didn’t play in any postseason games. In 1972, Stennett saw time at shortstop, second base and all three outfield spots. He hit .286 in 109 games, though it came with a .683 OPS due to minimal power and a very low walk rate. The 1973 season saw Stennett mostly playing middle field, while seeing just five games in the outfield. He played 84 games at second base and 43 at shortstop. He struggled at the plate, hitting .242 with only 16 walks in 128 games, although he did connect for a career high ten homers.
Stennett had a strong season in 1974 as the Pirates everyday second baseman. He played 157 games, hitting .291 with 84 runs scored and 196 hits. In the playoffs however, he hit .063 in the four-game series against the Dodgers. The 1975 season was much like the prior year. He hit .286 with 62 RBIs and 89 runs scored, helping the Pirates to the playoffs again. This time against the Reds, he went 3-for-14 with three singles and no runs or RBIs. On September 16, 1975, the Pirates beat the Cubs 22-0 and Stennett went 7-for-7 at the plate with five runs scored, tying Hall of Famer Wilbert Robinson’s record for seven hits in a nine-inning game. In 1976, Stennett batted .257 with career highs of 31 doubles and nine triples. He also stole 18 bases in 24 attempts. However, his low walk rate led to a .277 OPS, which resulted in a .613 OPS for the season. In 1977, he finished second to teammate Dave Parker in the National League batting race, hitting .336, while also adding 28 stolen bases. It was the only full season of his career that he batted over .300. Unfortunately for Stennett, he suffered a major leg/ankle injury on a slide in late August and it affected him for the rest of his career. In each of his four big league seasons following the injury, he failed to reach a .250 batting average.
In 1978, he batted .243 in 106 games and his .584 OPS was the lowest of his career up to that point. He failed to reach a .600 OPS in any of his final four seasons. The Pirates won the World Series in 1979 and Stennett saw semi-regular action, playing 108 games, which included 84 starts at second base. He batted .238/.289/.292 in 348 plate appearances. He played just two postseason games and singled in his only at-bat. Following the 1979 World Series, Stennett became a free agent and signed with the San Francisco Giants, where he finished his big league career two seasons later. He saw regular starts at second base in 1980, posting a .588 OPS, but he played just 38 games during the strike-shortened 1981 season. While with the Pirates, he .278 with 458 runs scored and 1,122 hits in 1,079 games. In 1974 and 1976, he led all NL second baseman in putouts. He received MVP votes during the 1974 and 1977 seasons. Stennett played over 100 games in eight straight seasons with the Pirates. He remained in pro ball through the end of 1983, spending the 1982 season in Mexico, before finishing up in Triple-A for the Montreal Expos the next year.