Former Pittsburgh Pirates second baseman Rennie Stennett of Colon, Panama passed away of cancer on Tuesday at the age of 72 according to Jack Baer of Yahoo! Sports. Stennett played 11 seasons of Major League Baseball with the Pittsburgh Pirates and San Francisco Giants, and was on the Pirates’ team that won the 1979 World Series.
In 4521 at bats, Stennett had 41 home runs, 432 runs batted in, and a .274 batting average. During 1237 games, Stennett scored exactly 500 runs, and had 1239 hits, 177 doubles, 41 triples, 75 stolen bases, 207 walks, 1621 total bases, 33 sacrifice flies, 33 sacrifice bunts, 16 times hit by a pitch, 41 intentional walks, a .306 on base percentage, and a .359 slugging peecentage. In an interesting case of symmetry, Stennett had the exact number of sacrifice flies and sacrifice bunts in his career (33), and the exact same number of home runs, triples, and intentional walks in his career (41).
Stennett was part of Major League history. On September 1, 1971, he was part of a Pirates lineup comprised of entirely Black and Latino players. This had never happened in Major League Baseball before. The Pirates beat the Giants 9-5, and with the win, won the National League pennant. The other eight Pirates in the starting, historic lineup were center fielder Gene Clines, right fielder Roberto Clemente, left fielder Willie Stargell, catcher Manny Sanguillen, third baseman Dave Cash, first baseman Al Oliver, shortstop Jackie Hernandez, and pitcher Dock Ellis.
Then on September 16, 1975, Stennett made Major League Baseball history all by himself. He became the only Major League player ever to get seven hits in seven at bats during a game. In a 22-0 Pirates clobbering over the Chicago Cubs, Bennett had four singles, two doubles, and one triple.
Stennett was with the Pirates from 1971 to 1979. In his final season with the Pirates, before two seasons with the Giants, Stennett was part of the Pirates team that won the World Series. In his only World Series at bat, Stennett recorded a single.