Baseball and Football - Flint Central Indian, Southwestern Colt; Ball State University; Major League Player and Coach
July 13, 2022
Merv Rettenmund is without question one of the greatest baseball players to ever come out of Flint, and that is saying a lot given the number of professional baseball players Flint has produced. He’s also one of the best athletes in Flint history. Rettenmund is certainly in the conversation when discussing the greatest multi-sport athletes Flint has produced as well.
He started out as a Flint Central Indian, and then became a Flint Southwestern Colt when the new school opened. At 5-10 he could slam dunk a basketball from a flat footed start, was an excellent football player, and a tremendous baseball talent. When he went to Ball State University he was so good at football that he broke the all time Ball State rushing record, and was drafted by the Dallas Cowboys. He also received the call from Major League Baseball and that’s the route he took.
Rettenmund starred as a super-sub and was a key cog for the great Orioles teams of the early 70’s as they won three consecutive American League pennants, from 1969 to 1971. He twice led the team in batting average in those years while playing all three outfield positions. More than that, Rettenmund always seemed to find himself as part of a winner — as a player and coach, his teams reached the postseason in 13 of his 33 seasons in major-league baseball. He played in four World Series, winning championships in 1970 with the Orioles and in 1975 with the Cincinnati Reds Big Red Machine featuring Johnny Bench, Pete Rose, and Joe Morgan. Later, he became one of the game’s top pinch-hitters with the San Diego Padres and California Angels.
After his playing days Rettenmund became one of the most respected hitting coaches in baseball, and he was on staff for three more World Series — with the Oakland Athletics in 1989 and 1990 and the San Diego Padres in 1998. He was the hitting coach for one of the greatest hitters in all of baseball history Tony Gwynn, who won 8 of his batting titles while Rettenmund coached him.
Merv is one of the genuine athletic legends in all of Flint history he’s offering up batting coaching right here in the Aquarium, so don’t miss it!
And Now for a Display of Excellence of Merv Rettenmund Sports Moments...