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Rennie Stennett – 1973 Topps #348

Renaldo Antonio Stennett Porte (April 5, 1951, in Colón, Panama), is a former second baseman. Stennett played with the Pittsburgh Pirates and San Francisco Giants. 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 and was a member of the first all-black starting lineup in the major leagues.
In an 11-season career, Stennett was a .274 batter, with 41 home runs and 432 RBIs in 1,237 games. On September 1, 1971, Pittsburgh faced the Phillies with the first major league all-black starting lineup. Stennett led off the game for the Pirates, who won 10–7. In his first three seasons with Pittsburgh, Stennett was used at shortstop and second base. He also played 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. Finally, in 1974, Stennett took over the starting second base job, beating out Dave Cash and Willie Randolph. Batting from the leadoff spot, he responded with a .291 average, 84 runs, 56 RBI, and a career-high 196 hits. The following season, Stennett became the only player in the 20th century to go seven-for-seven in a nine-inning game. On September 16, 1975, Stennett went 7-for-7 as Pittsburgh beat the Cubs, 22–0. Pittsburgh also set a major league record for the largest winning score in a shutout game in the modern era. He was the third player to collect seven hits in a single game, and the second to do it in a nine-inning game.
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, falling short of qualifying for the batting title, won by teammate Dave Parker. In that season, Stennett collected a career-high 28 stolen bases. A free agent at the end of the 1979 season Stennett, was signed by the Giants to a five year, $3 million dollar contract in what would be one of the first “busts” of the free agent era. After two years with San Francisco, he was released in April of 1982, with three years remaining on and $2 million left on the contract which the Giants still had to pay him as the contract was guaranteed.

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