Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Renie Martin

Here's Renie's 1981 Topps Card.  Career Stats: 508.1 IP, 24 W, 35 L, 12 SV, 4.27 ERA.  Born 8/30/55 in Dover Delaware.  

On the back of Renie's card it notes that he graduated from Richmond University in 1977 with a degree in Finance.  Two years later he was called up to the majors by the Kansas City Royals where he worked out of the bullpen.  Renie got the call from the dugout 25 times that year and was able to acquire 5 saves with a bloated 5.19 ERA.  That didn't seem to bother manager Whitey Herzog too much because he gave Renie a chance to start the following year.  Not such a bad move because he went 10 - 10 with a 4.39 ERA over 32 games.  Not the best starter on the team but certainly not the worst.  I'm looking at you Mike Jones (0 - 1, 11.57 ERA).  But the highlight that year and probably for his career was pitching in the 1980 World Series against the Philadelphia Phillies.  Renie was used as a reliever in Games 1, 2 & 3 and only gave up 3 earned runs over those three games.  Unfortunately those runs came at crucial times, giving up leads in Games 1 & 2 which lead to loses in both.  The Royals ended losing the series in 6 games, after which fellow team mate Dan Quisenberry had this to say about Renie, "Some people throw to spots, some people throw to zones, Renie throws to continents."

Renie didn't really have the stuff to remain a starter so he was sent back to the bullpen and ended up having one of his best years with a 2.77 ERA.  This earned him a one way ticket to San Francisco where he was traded with Craig Chamberlain, Atlee Hammaker & Brad Wellman for Vida Blue and Bob Tufts.  Upon arrival, manager Frank Robinson was waiting to hand Renie a role as a starter.  Renie showed his gratitude by giving Frank a 7 win - 10 loss, 4.65 ERA performance.  Seeing the error of his ways, the following year  Frank showed Renie where the bullpen was at in Candlestick Park and told him not to come out until he calls.  After two years, having seen enough, the Giants traded him to the Phillies.  Renie, probably sick of hearing his team mates talk about 1980, ended his major league career.

After leaving baseball Renie went on to put his finance degree to work at the Ferguson Waterworks in Newport News, Virginia.  He's gone on to be the winningest coach and greatest player on the company softball team.  And if you happen to be in Wilmington, Delaware, stop by the Delaware Sports Museum, because you'll see Renie's picture hanging there.