May 20, 2021

RIP: Rennie Stennett, Only Modern-Era Player With Seven Hits In A Nine-Inning Game

Rennie Stennett, who set a modern major league record of seven hits in a nine-inning game, died on Tuesday at the age of 70.

On September 16, 1975, in Chicago, the Pirates beat the Cubs 22-0. There have been ten instances in the modern era of a player batting seven times in nine innings, but Stennett is the only player with seven hits. Six hits in a nine-inning game is much more common; it's happened 71 times since 1901. (Wilbert Robinson also had seven hits on June 10, 1892. See below.)

Four players have batted eight times in a nine-inning game: Darryl Hamilton (August 28, 1992), Mike Cameron (May 19, 1999), Ian Kinsler (August 22, 2007), and Frank Catalanotto (August 22, 2007).  Hamilton, who must be the only player to bat in eight innings of a nine-inning game (he missed the fifth), had four hits and the other players each had three.

As Pittsburgh's leadoff batter, Stennett doubled and singled in the first inning, singled in the third, singled and doubled in the fifth, singled in the seventh, and tripled in the eighth. After Stennett tripled, he was pulled for a pinch-runner, a rookie named Willie Randolph. (Since the game came so late in the season, Stennett improved his batting average by only nine points: .278 to .287.) 

Stennett became the fourth player with two hits in one inning twice in one game. The others are listed as: Max Carey (1925 Pirates), John Hod­app (1928 Cleveland), and Sherman Lollar (1955 White Sox). (I'm not sure if it has happened since 1975.)

Stennett set a modern major league record the following day in Philadelphia when his three singles gave him 10 hits in two consecutive games. He also tied a record with 12 hits in three consecutive nine-inning games.

Teams Scoring 20+ Runs In A Shutout (Since 1901)

September 15, 1901:   Tigers 21, Cleveland 0
August 13, 1939 (G2): Yankees 21, Athletics 0
September 16, 1975:   Pirates 22, Cubs 0
August 31, 2004:      Cleveland 22, Yankees 0
April 22, 2010:       Brewers 20, Pirates 0

Wilbert Robinson, a catcher for the old Baltimore Orioles, had seven hits (while batting #8!) in the first game of a doubleheader on June 10, 1892. He played for 17 years and managed for another 18 seasons.

The only two players with seven hits in a nine-inning game died at almost the exact same age.

Wilbert Robinson (1864-1934): 70 years, 40 days.
Rennie Stennett (1951-2021): 70 years, 43 days.


Jere said...

The #2 hitter for the 1892 Orioles, George Edward Martin Van Haltren, is the only player in history with all the letters of "Edward Van Halen" and "George Martin" in his name, none overlapping, in the correct order.

Paul Hickman said...

Jere you made me laugh - I love it, Baseball crashes into Rock and Roll !!! If only George had known the names who would follow him in the Century to come !