Some of the Top Cards of 1976

Friday, April 30, 2010

1976 Topps #425 - Rennie Stennett

  • Rennie Stennett played in the majors from 1971-1981. I remember when the Giants signed him before the 1980 season how he was supposed to be a great second baseman, but injuries slowed him down and he only played two years for the Giants.
  • Stennett was signed by the Pittsburgh Pirates in 1969. He played in the minors from 1969-1971 and was brought up in July of 1971 after batting .344 at AAA Charleston. Rennie batted .353 in 50 games but wasn't on the postseason roster.  
  • Rennie played 2B, SS, and all three OF positions in 1972 and batted .286 in 109 games. He batted .286 in five games in the Pirates' loss to the Cincinnati Reds in the NLCS. Stennett, like several other Pirates, struggled in 1973 after the death of Roberto Clemente. He batted .242 in 128 games as a utiltyman.
  • Stennett was given the starting second base job in 1974 (he beat out Dave Cash and Willie Randolph). Rennie batted .291 during the regular season and .063 against the LA Dodgers in the 1974 NLCS.
  • Rennie batted .286 in 148 games in 1975. He had one great game on September 16 when he went 7 for 7 in a nine-inning game. He is the only 20th (or 21st) century player to accomplish the feat. Stennett batted .214 in the 1975 NLCS. Stennett batted .257 in 157 games in 1976.
  • Rennie had his best season in 1977. He batted .336 and would have been eligible for the batting title if he would have had 12 more plate appearances. Teammate Dave Parker won the title with a .338 batting average. Rennie broke his right ankle on August 21 and missed the rest of the season. The injury hampered Stennett for the rest of his career.
  • Stennett came back in 1978 but wasn't the same player. He batted .243 in 106 games. Down & out - Pennant race is passing Rennie Stennett by - Beaver County Times September 3, 1978. He was the starting second baseman for the Pirates in 1979 but he didn't start many games after July. Rennie batted .238 in 108 games. In the postseason he made one defensive appearance in the NLCS and singled in his only at bat in the World Series.
  • After the 1979 season Stennett left the Pirates and signed with the Giants (5 years, $3 million). He batted .244 in 120 games in 1980. In 1981 Rennie played in only 38 games (only five after the strike) and batted .230 in 87 at bats. The Giants acquired Joe Morgan before the 1982 season and Stennett was released during spring training. He played for a while with Montrealss AAA Wichita club and batted .309 in 55 games but he didn't make it back to the majors.
  • After his playing career Rennie went back to his home in Florida and worked for a sports management firm. Stennett wonders why, not what if - The Pittsburgh Press June 23, 1986. On the Pirates: Stennett Reflects on Sweet Seven - Pittsburgh Post Gazette May 31, 2009.
  • Liked to face: Dan Spillner (.579 in 19 AB); Bob Shirley (.556 in 18 AB); Elias Sosa (.455 in 22 AB)
  • Hated to face: Max Leon (.000 in 14 AB); Bob Gibson (.069 in 29 AB); Ron Reed (.091 in 44 AB)

2 comments:

  1. Thankfully, Stennett beat out Dave Cash. The Pirates sent Cash to the Phillies in 1974, ending Denny Doyle's 4-year tenure at 2B.

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  2. Definitely an upgrade for the Phillies.

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