Harold Eugene Reniff
- Bats Right, Throws Right
- Height 6' 0", Weight 215 lb.
- High School Chaffey High School
- Debut June 8, 1961
- Final Game September 3, 1967
- Born July 2, 1938 in Warren, OH USA
- Died September 7, 2004 in Ontario, CA USA
Hal Reniff was a pitcher for 17 years (1956-1972), seven in the majors (1961-1967) and 12 in the minors (1956-1962 and 1968-1972). He was born on July 2, 1938, in Warren, OH. He was the great nephew of Joe "Moon" Harris. He graduated from Chaffey High School in 1956 at age 17. He broke into organized baseball in 1956 and played for Kearney in the Nebraska State League (1956), Modesto in the California League (1957-1959), Salem in the Northwest League (1958), Greensboro in the Carolina League (1959), Binghamton in the Eastern League (1960), Amarillo in the Texas League (1960), and Richmond in the International League (1961). In 1959, he led the California League in wins with 21. Overall that year, his best in the minors, he was 21-7 with 12 complete games out of 20 starts, 143 strikeouts, 94 walks and 2 shutouts in 186 innings pitched, with an ERA of 3.19 and a WHIP of 1.366 in 35 games.
Reniff was 22 years old when he made his big league debut on June 8, 1961, with the New York Yankees. He bounced back and forth between New York and Richmond in 1961 and 1962, but then stayed with the Yankees from 1963 until June 28 1967 when he was sold to the New York Mets where he played his final major league game on September 3, 1967 at age 29. He pitched in the 1963 and the 1964 World Series and was on the Yankees' roster for their 1961 World Series win over the Cincinnati Reds, but was not used. He married Anne Noto on March 23, 1965.
He returned to the minors with the Syracuse Chiefs of the International League from 1968 to 1972, ending his baseball career at age 34.
An effective reliever for the Yankee pennant winners of 1963-1964, Reniff saved 18 games in 1963 and 9, with six wins, in 1964. In 1963, his best year in the big leagues, he was 4-3 with 30 games finished and 18 saves, 56 strikeouts and 42 walks in 89.1 innings pitched, with an ERA of 2.62 and a WHIP of 1.175 in 48 games. Reniff is the only pitcher to have pitched for both current New York teams (Yankees and Mets) but not pitch for any other team during his career.
Overall in the major leagues, he was 21-23 with 148 games finished, 45 saves, 314 strikeouts and 242 walks in 471.1 innings pitched, with an ERA of 3.27 and a WHIP of 1.326 n 276 games. Overall in the minors, he was 84-70 with 37 complete games out of 90 starts, 28 saves, 932 strikeouts, 687 walks and 5 shutouts in 1205 innings pitched, with an ERA of 3.99 and a WHIP of 1.531 in 419 games. Overall in the World Series, he was not involved in a decision, but pitched 3.1 innings in 4 games without yielding an earned run.
"Bad weather forced the Yankees to turn an off-day into a game without much warning. The official attendance was 413. And when it was over, Hal Reniff, the relief pitcher, asked Jim Bouton if he brought his station wagon to the players' parking lot. The answer was a bewildered 'Yeah,' and Reniff shot back, 'Good. Because the crowd needs a ride home.' - Sportswriter Vic Ziegel in the Daily News (September 10, 2004)
Reniff was related to a number of professional ballplayers. The currently known list is:
- great nephew of Joe "Moon" Harris
- great nephew of Dave Harris - minor leaguer pitcher (1912)
- great nephew of Jack Harris - minor leaguer
- great nephew of Tom Harris - minor leaguer, 1912
- Ed Rodebaugh - minor league pitcher, 1905-1909
- Dick Clark - minor league pitcher, 1948
For a more complete story, see The Joe Harris Family by Bob Harris
Principal sources for Hal Reniff include newspaper obituaries (OB), government records (VA,CM,CW), Sporting Life (SL), Baseball Digest, The Sporting News (TSN), The Sports Encyclopedia:Baseball 2006 by David Neft & Richard Cohen (N&C), old Who's Who in Baseballs (1964-1968) (WW), old Baseball Registers (1963-1967) (BR), TSN's Daguerreotypes (none) (DAG), The Historical Register, The Baseball Necrology by Bill Lee (BN), Pat Doyle's Professional Ballplayer DataBase(PD), The Baseball Library (BL); various Encyclopediae including The Official Encyclopedia of Baseball by Turkin & Thompson (T&T), MacMillan Baseball Encyclopedia (Mac), Total Baseball (TB), The Bill James Historical Abstract (BJ) and The Encyclopedia of Minor League Baseball (LJ); Retrosheet (RS), The Baseball Chronology (BC), Baseball Page (BP), The Baseball Almanac (BA), Baseball Cube (B3); The Texas League in Baseball, 1888-1958 by Marshall D. Wright; The International League: Year-by-year Statistics, 1884-1953 by Marshall D. Wright; and obituaries at deadballera.com (DBE) as well as research by Reed Howard (RH), Pat Doyle (PD) and Frank Hamilton (FH).