Monday, June 18, 2018

Former NL Umpire Dutch Rennert Passes Away at 88

20-year National League umpire Laurence Henry "Dutch" Rennert passed away on Father's Day at the age of 88, 26 years after his final NL game. Rennert retired at age 62 due in part to a knee injury and deteriorating eyesight, saying he rather retire than risk losing credibility as an umpire: "I always said that when I couldn't do the job 100 percent, I'd quit." In 2012, ex-NL President Bill White took credit for the retirement upon a vision exam that found Rennert could not see out of his left eye, saying, "I retired him nicely."

Former NL Umpire Dutch Rennert has died.
Following graduation from the Al Somers Umpire School and a 16-year Minor League career, Rennert officiated 2,693 regular season games in the National League, breaking into the NL in September 1973, and officiating two All-Star Games (1979, 84), six National League Championship Series (1977, 81, 82, 86, 88, 90), and three World Series (1980, 83, 89) along the way. He concluded his major league career with 21 big league ejections, including most frequent ejectees Will Clark and Lou Piniella (two times each).

Rennert, an Oshkosh, Wisconsin native who wore uniform number 16 and was voted the National League's best umpire in a 1983 New York Times poll, is perhaps most noted for his unique called strike mechanic, of which Tom Hallion in 2015 paid tribute to Rennert during a game in Miami, where Rennert was in attendance.

During an interview with the Marlins' TV crew, Rennert bemoaned modern MLB for consolidating and regimenting its umpires, and criticized replay: "The umpires—they take away all the colorful umpires. They want them to work one way, uniform, same way...I hate replay. Call 'em as you seem. It's called a rhubarb. If they're going to argue, that's alright, and then let's play ball."
Related PostDutch Rennert Interview, Tom Hallion Tribute in Miami (9/26/15).

Rennert, who officiated basketball in the Las Vegas area before attending Umpire School, was 88 years old.

Video as follows:
Alternate Link: Hallion pays tribute to Rennert with strike one call; Rennert interviewed in Florida (MIA)

Alternate Link: Rennert calls a first strike during the 1989 World Series in San Francisco ()

UEFL Best Practices Source Type: Inside Source (Obituary).


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