Fri, 20 May 2022

Gene Clines, part of first all-minority lineup, dies at 75

Field Level Media
28 Jan 2022, 05:40 GMT+10

Former outfielder Gene Clines, part of Major League Baseball's first all-minority lineup for the Pittsburgh Pirates in 1971, has died at the age of 75.

Clines was the starting center fielder for the Pirates on Sept. 1, 1971, the night manager Danny Murtaugh filled out a lineup card with minority players at every position, including Dock Ellis at pitcher. Clines was flanked by Willie Stargell and Roberto Clemente in the outfield.

The Pirates went on to win the 1971 World Series.

"Gene was a speedy outfielder who was a key member of our 1971 World Series team," Pirates president Travis Williams said in a statement Thursday. "It was an honor to have Gene back in Pittsburgh this past September to recognize him and his teammates from our 1971 World Series Championship team who took the field as part of Major League Baseball's first all-minority lineup."

Only three members of the lineup are still alive from that night in 1971 -- Dave Cash (third base), Al Oliver (first base) and Manny Sanguillen (catcher).

Clines hit .277 and collected 645 hits in a 10-year career with the Pirates (1970-74), New York Mets (1975), Texas Rangers (1976) and Chicago Cubs (1977-79). His best season came in 1972 when hit .334 with 15 doubles and 52 runs scored in 107 games for the Pirates.

Clines became a coach for many teams after he retired, including hitting/outfield coach for San Francisco from 1995-2002.

--Field Level Media

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