Sad news from the Pirates today:
It is with heavy hearts that we confirm the passing of former Pirate Gene Clines.— Pittsburgh Pirates (@Pirates) January 27, 2022
Gene was part of the first all-minority lineup in Major League Baseball history. We send our deepest condolences to the Clines family at this time. pic.twitter.com/PHcA9R5EVy
Clines was 75 years old and resided in Bradenton, Florida. He was last in Pittsburgh for the fiftieth-anniversary reunion of the 1971 World Series championship team this past summer, and Pirates fans were glad to see him.
A gifted, swift outfielder, Clines played for the Pirates from 1970 to 1974. Not only was he on the 1971 team, but he was also part of the first all-minority lineup fielded in MLB that year, playing center field.
He had a lifetime slash line of .277/.329/.341, with a .670 OPS and a .979 fielding average, and was second in the National League for stolen bases in 1974. After the Pirates, he went on to play for the Mets, Rangers, and Cubs before retiring after the 1979 season.
Clines then went on to coach for the Cubs, Astros, Mariners, Brewers and Giants. With the Giants, he was noted for guiding NL MVPs Jeff Kent and Barry Bonds in the early 2000s. He was miked up in the 2002 World Series Fox broadcast and famously yelled OH MY GOD on the air when Bonds hit his first World Series home run.
“It was a joy to talk to him about his deep passion for baseball, his love for his teammates and his appreciation for the city of Pittsburgh,” said Pirates president Travis Williams in a statement today. “Our hearts go out to his wife Joanne, his children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren.”
Thanks for everything, Gene. You were fun to watch.