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Thursday, January 27, 2022

Gene Clines, part of Pirates’ 1971 World Series winner and MLB’s first all-minority lineup, dies at 75

A 5-foot-9, 170-pound outfielder and pinch-hitter, Clines hit .277/.329/.341 while appearing in 870 MLB games, 452 of them in Pittsburgh. The right-handed hitter collected 85 doubles, 24 triples, five home runs, 187 RBIs and 71 steals throughout his career.

Clines’ best season came in 1972, when he hit .334 over 107 games, setting career-highs in doubles (15) and steals (15). The most memorable postseason moment for Clines — aside from the championship itself — had to be his home run in Game 2 of the 1971 NLCS against the Giants, helping the Pirates erase an early series deficit with a 9-4 win.

“Gene was a speedy outfielder who was a key member of our 1971 World Series team,” Pirates president Travis Williams said in a statement. “He made a tremendous impact on the game, not only as a player after his career with the Pirates but also as a longtime coach in the big leagues.”

Clines, who also played for the Cubs, Rangers and Mets, began his coaching career with the Cubs and later worked as a hitting coach and instructor with the Astros, Mariners, Brewers and Giants.

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: January 27, 2022 at 01:14 PM | 5 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: gene clines, obituaries

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   1. Walt Davis Posted: January 27, 2022 at 03:04 PM (#6062762)
Clines is one of those guys of my youth I thought was much better than he was. And he was at the start -- very solid platoon player (4 WAR, 2 WAA) for ages 23-25 then the bottom completely fell out. I was still excited when the Cubs picked him up but I shouldn't have been. An odd career shape but it doesn't look like it was injury. Maybe just small-sample fluke or maybe, since he was a part-timer, it took the pitchers a while to find the hole in his swing. Nice that he found a lifetime home in baseball.
   2. salvomania Posted: January 27, 2022 at 03:35 PM (#6062771)
Clines is one of those guys of my youth I thought was much better than he was.

Me too. Clines hit .405 in his 39-pa cup of coffee in 1970, then hit .308 in his '71 rookie season (300 pa), then as mentioned in the excerpt, .334 in 1972 (334 pa).

In my mind, he was a .300 hitter, which made him really good, no matter that he hit .259 over his remaining 1,883 pa.
   3. SoSH U at work Posted: January 27, 2022 at 03:41 PM (#6062772)
So he had a Kenny Reitz season for a career?
   4. sanny manguillen Posted: January 27, 2022 at 07:08 PM (#6062795)
Remember him well, but don't really have specific memories. His playoff homer was overshadowed by the three homers Bob Robertson hit that day. RIP
   5. Dennis Eclairskey, closer Posted: January 28, 2022 at 08:52 AM (#6062843)
I recently got around to watching the Dock Ellis documentary from a few years back & Gene Clines was one of the interviewees. RIP.

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