Globe iconLogin iconRecap iconSearch iconTickets icon
news

MLB News

Longtime umpire Rennert dies at 88

Fan favorite was known for distinctive strike calls
MLB.com

Dutch Rennert, who was one Major League Baseball's most identifiable umpires for nearly two decades, passed away Sunday at age 88.

Rennert served as a National League umpire from 1974-92. During that time, he was a fan-favorite because of his expressive strike calls. Rennert would step back from behind the plate, go down to one knee and point toward a dugout while calling out a strike in a volume loud enough to easily be heard throughout the stadium and on television and radio broadcasts.

Dutch Rennert, who was one Major League Baseball's most identifiable umpires for nearly two decades, passed away Sunday at age 88.

Rennert served as a National League umpire from 1974-92. During that time, he was a fan-favorite because of his expressive strike calls. Rennert would step back from behind the plate, go down to one knee and point toward a dugout while calling out a strike in a volume loud enough to easily be heard throughout the stadium and on television and radio broadcasts.

All-time MLB umpires

Rennert credited Hall of Fame umpire Al Barlick, who was also known for his booming calls, and fellow longtime NL umpire August Donatelli with inspiring his unique style.

Video: ATL@MIA: Dutch Rennert discusses his umpiring career

"[They said] 'You've got to add something to your work. You've got to be a little bit more colorful.' But I think I got carried away," Rennert joked during a 2015 television interview. "It wasn't an act. It just came natural."

In addition to his popularity with fans, Rennert was well-respected by his peers and others within the game. He umpired three World Series, six NL Championship Series and two All-Star Games among his nearly 2,700 big league games.

"It's one of the greatest jobs in the world," Rennert said of umpiring.

Ed Eagle is an editorial producer for MLB.com.