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Dutch Rennert, longtime Major League umpire, dies at 88

Home plate umpire Dutch Rennert calls Los Angeles

Home plate umpire Dutch Rennert calls Los Angeles Dodgers' Reggie Smith safe under Atlanta Braves catcher Dale Murphy (3) during the first inning of a baseball game in Los Angeles on July 5, 1978. Credit: AP / Mclendon

ST. AUGUSTINE, Fla. — Dutch Rennert, a National League umpire from 1973 to 1992 who was known for his animated, booming strike calls, has died. He was 88.

St. John’s Family Funeral Home and Crematory in St. Augustine, Florida, confirmed Monday night that Rennert died on Sunday. A cause of death wasn’t given.

Laurence “Dutch” Rennert Jr. was a longtime minor league umpire before his promotion to the National League in 1973. He worked 2,693 regular-season games plus six NL Championship Series, three World Series, in 1980, ’83 and ’89, and two All-Star Games.

Respected by players, Rennert was known for his distinctive strike calls. He would step back from the catcher, turn toward one dugout in a crouch or on one knee, extend his right arm and often yell loud enough to be heard on a television or radio broadcast.

He was so recognizable behind the plate that plenty of fans even enjoyed mimicking him at times.

Rennert was born on June 12, 1930, in Oshkosh, Wisconsin.

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