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Steve Renko

  • Three-sport star at the University of Kansas
  • Pitched in 14 major league seasons for seven teams
Renko, Steve
Inducted 2010

Born: December 10, 1944 – Kansas City, Kansas

Graduated: Wyandotte H.S., 1962

Attended: University of Kansas

Overview

A three-sport athlete for the Kansas Jayhawks, Steven Renko, Jr., starred for KU in baseball, basketball and football during the 1960s.

High School Highlights

Renko helped lead Wyandotte High School to the Class AA-A state baseball title in 1962.

Three-Sport Star at KU

Renko lettered as the KU quarterback in 1963 and ’64 and shared the same backfield with fellow KSHOF inductee Gale Sayers. Heading into the 1964-65 school year, Renko was the Big Eight Conference’s only active three-sport athlete. He averaged 10 points a game for the Jayhawk basketball team, but it was baseball where he shined the brightest. As a senior, he compiled a 0.99 earned run average on the mound and hit .344 at the plate.

Professional Career

Renko was drafted the 24th round in 1965 by the New York Mets and made his major league debut June 27, 1969, for the Montreal Expos. During his 14-year career in the major leagues, Renko won 134 games for the Expos, Cubs, Chicago White Sox, Oakland A’s, Boston Red Sox, California Angels and hometown Kansas City Royals. Renko’s best year came in 1973 for Montreal when he went 15-11 with a 2.81 ERA, which was the seventh-best mark in the National League. Renko pitched nearly 2,500 innings in the majors and finished his career with 57 complete games.  A good hitting pitcher, Renko was the last pitcher to bat seventh or higher in a major league game until it was duplicated 32 years later in 2005.