Former Pirates’ World Series champion and 10-year Major League veteran Gene Clines died at the age of 75, the team announced on Thursday. Clines was a sixth-round draft pick of the Pirates in 1966 and spent five seasons in Pittsburgh from 1970-74.
Clines was on the 1971 World Series champion team and was one of the nine players that made up the first all-minority lineup in Major League Baseball history in September of that season, manning centerfield. In his five seasons in Pittsburgh, the outfielder hit .287 with with 51 stolen bases in 452 games.
It is with heavy hearts that we confirm the passing of former Pirate Gene Clines.
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
— Pittsburgh Pirates (@Pirates) January 27, 2022
After the 1974 season, the Pirates traded Clines to the Mets, where he spent one season. He then spent a season with the Texas Rangers before spending three seasons with the Chicago Cubs where he finished his career. After his playing career, Clines coached and worked with six different clubs.
Clines was at PNC Park in September when the Pirates honored the 50-year anniversary of the 1971 champions, which was an “honor,” said Pirates’ president Travis Williams. Williams went on to say, “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. Our hearts go out to his wife Joanne, his children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren.”