Saturday, April 24, 2021
Today we look at Steve Renko's rookie card.
Renko was signed by the Mets in July 1965, but did not play that summer. He also only played one game in 1966.
After 2 full seasons on the Mets' farm, he began the 1969 season with the Mets' AAA team, but was sent to the Expos in the June 15th trade that brought Donn Clendenon to New York. (The Expos also received 3rd baseman Kevin Collins and 2 minor-leaguers.)
Steve made his major-league debut 12 days later. From that point until the end of the 1975 season he was a regular in the Expos’ starting rotation, twice winning 15 games (quite an accomplishment for a perennially bad team) along with 13 and 12-win seasons. His only bad year was 1972, when he posted a 1-10 record in 30 games (only 12 starts).
Renko saw little action at the start of 1976, and was traded to the Cubs in May. After spending the first 7-plus seasons with the Expos, he bounced around for the 2nd half of his career. A year with the Cubs, then half a season with the White Sox.
He was granted free agency after 1977, then spent 1 season with the Athletics and 2 each with the Red Sox and Angels, before wrapping up his career with the Royals in 1983.