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Biography and Career Highlights

Edgar Enrique Renteria
St. Louis Cardinals
Shortstop # 3
Bats: Right Throws: Right
Height: 6-2 Weight: 200
Born: 8/7/75 at Barranquilla, Colombia

BECAME CARDINAL: Acquired from the Florida Marlins in a trade for pitchers Armando Almanza and Braden Looper and shortstop Pablo Ozuna, December 14, 1998.

M.L. DEBUT: 10-MAY-96

CONTRACT STATUS: Signed through 2003 with a club option for both 2004 and 2005.

CAREER HIGHLIGHTS:

1992 - Projected by Baseball America as the Gulf Coast League's No. 3 big-league prospect...recorded his first professional hit with one out in the bottom of the ninth to spoil a no-hit bid by the GCL Astros' Arquimides Lugo in the Gulf Coast Marlins' first-ever game.

1993 - Tied for the Midwest League lead among shortstops with 173 putouts.

1994 - Playing his second full season in the minors, was selected to play in the Florida State League All-Star game...set personal bests in runs, hits, extra-base hits and RBIs.

1995 - Voted the Marlins' Organizational Player of the Year by the farm system's managers and field staff...selected as the organization's top prospect by Baseball America...named to Howe Sportsdata's All-Teenager team...ranked ninth among all Class-AA players with 147 hits for Portland club...also finished tied for 11th with 30 stolen bases...finished fourth in the Marlins' farm system in steals and eighth in batting (.289)...led Eastern League shortstops with 134 games at the position...ranked fourth in the league in hits and steals, and tied for fifth with 508 at-bats and seven triples...succeeded in his first 13 stolen base attempts through 6/6... was thrown out for the first time on 6/8 against Norwich...named the Eastern League's Player of the Week 7/31 - 8/6...hit .308 (4-for-13) with an RBI and two stolen bases for Portland during the postseason...played winter ball with the Ponce Lions of the Puerto Rican League, where he hit .318 (34-for-107) with 17 RBIs in 28 games.

1996 - Finished second to LA's Todd Hollandsworth in National League Rookie of the Year voting...began his fifth season in the Florida organization at Class-AAA Charlotte but was promoted to the Marlins on 5/9...was hitting .278 with two homers and 15 RBIs in 28 games at Charlotte...became the fourth Colombian native to play in the major leagues after infielder Jackie Gutierrez (1983-88 with BOS, BAL, PHI), infielder Orlando Ramirez (1974-79 with CAL) and infielder-outfielder Luis Castro (1902 PHI A's)...finished the season strong, batting .334 after the All-Star break...set a club record with a 22-game hitting streak (34-for-89) 7/25 - 8/16, the longest by a rookie since Jerome Walton hit in 30 straight for the 1989 Cubs...had 38 multihit games in 103 starts...made his major league starting debut on 5/18 at CHI and singled in his first at-bat...collected his fourth four-hit game (including his fourth HR) 9/10 at NY...recorded his first four-hit performance 6/10 at MON...hit his first big-league homer 6/11 at MON against Ugueth Urbina...missed 13 games with a strained right hamstring 6/24 - 7/11, including a six-game rehabilitation stint with Charlotte.

1997 - Delivered the World Series-winning hit off Cleveland's Charles Nagy, driving home Craig Counsell in the 11th inning of Game Seven as Florida won, 3-2, claiming its first Series title in just its fifth season of play, faster than any other expansion team...stroked a game-winning single off Roberto Hernandez in Game One of the Division Series against SF, driving home Charles Johnson with two outs and the bases loaded in the ninth inning...ranked second among N.L. batters with 143 singles...led the major leagues with 19 sacrifice hits...led N.L. shortstops with 242 putouts...rapped a team-leading 171 hits, the third-highest total in Marlins history...set a club record with 617 at-bats...was caught stealing 15 times, second-most in the National League...had a team-high 13-game hitting streak 5/13-29, batting .383 (23-for-60) over the span...led the Marlins with six game-ending hits, including two in the postseason...hit a game-tying, ninth-inning inside-the-park home run vs. the Reds on 4/4, then won the game with an RBI single in the 11th...stroked a game-winning RBI single in the bottom of the ninth 4/27 vs. LA...drove in the winning run with a single in the bottom of the ninth 8/15 vs. PIT...homered twice and was 3-for-5 overall 7/18 vs. SD... had three consecutive three-hit games 7/16-18.

1998 - Ranked fourth in the National League with 41 stolen bases and tied for fourth with eight steals of third base...Had a ground-ball/fly-ball ratio of 2.17: 1 (226 grounders, 104 flies) to place third among N.L. batters...Ranked eighth among N.L. shortstops with a .966 fielding average...Became the first native Colombian to play in an All-Star Game as the Marlins' lone player representative in the 7/7 game at Colorado; entered the game in the top of the seventh as a replacement for starting shortstop Walt Weiss (ATL); reached base on Scott Brosius' fielding error in the eighth and later scored...Raised his batting average 100 points, to .282 from .182, by hitting .342 (38-for-111) from 4/20 - 5/18...Delivered the game-winning hit in the 11th inning 5/1 vs. SD and a game-winning pinch-single (his first career pinch-hit) in the ninth inning 6/9 vs. TOR; the hits were his seventh and eighth game-ending hits over the past two seasons...Honored as the N.L. Player of the Week 6/8-14 after hitting in all seven games (.464, 13-for-28) with a .531 on-base average...Put together the Marlins' longest hitting streak of the season, 14 games, from 6/8 to 6/22. Batted .411 (23-for-56) during the span with a .484 on-base average...Tied a Florida club record by scoring four runs in a 7/13 game vs. MON, including the game-winner in the bottom of the ninth; also scored the game-winning run 6/14 vs. the Mets...On the disabled list 8/25 to 9/9 after bruising his right knee while sliding into second base in the third inning of an 8/24 game vs. SF.

1999 - In his first season with the Cardinals, batted .275 while establishing career highs of 11 home runs and 63 RBIs...Led the club in games played (154), at bats (585), hits (161), doubles (36), sacrifice flies (7) and stolen bases (37)...Tied for seventh in the National League in stolen bases...Paced the Cardinals with 45 multi-hit games and ranked fifth on the club with five game-winning RBI's...Came through in the clutch, batting .304 with runners in scoring position...The righthanded hitter posted a higher batting average vs. righthanded pitchers (.283) than vs. lefthanders (.250). Nine of his 11 home runs came off righties...Batted .300 with five home runs and 40 RBIs before the All-Star break and .248 with six homers and 23 RBIs after the break...Committed a career-high 26 errors, his .959 fielding percentage was the lowest of his four-year career...Batted leadoff a club-high 46 times; also led the club by batting in the second spot 53 times. Hit two of the club's five leadoff home runs...Victimized his former Marlins teammates with a .423 batting average (11-for-26), three home runs and five RBIs in seven games. The .423 average was his best mark against any 1999 opponent...Right knee bone bruise continued to bother him in spring training and did not appear in any major league spring games, but was in the opening day starting lineup...Posted an eight-game hitting streak 4/11 to 4/23...Poked his first Cardinal home run vs. LA on 5/16 (off Ismael Valdes)...Notched a three-RBI game at LA on 5/23, as all three RBIs came with two outs...Matched his career best with a pair of homers at FLA on 5/31...Collected three hits and drove home the game-winning run with a 14th-inning single vs. DET on 6/12...Put together a 10-game hitting streak 6/21 to 7/1; had a five-game RBI streak that coincided with his hitting streak (6/26 - 7/1)...Equaled a career high with four hits at SF on 7/9...Posted another four-hit effort 8/31 vs. FLA...Set a career high and a 1999 club high with four stolen bases at MIL on 9/5...Notched his second leadoff HR of the year on 9/15 vs. MIL (also did it 9/8 at ATL)...Closed the season by hitting safely in seven straight games (9-for-31, .290) and in 32 of his last 37 contests (49-for-161, .304).

2000 - Put together one of the best all-around seasons by a Cardinals shortstop, establishing career highs for home runs, RBI and runs scored, while also providing stellar play in the field... had pair of doubles and 3 RBI in 9/26 win at SD... finshed the year with a team-high 32 doubles, four shy of his career-high 36 from 1999... stole his team-high 20th base on 9/20 giving him his fourth-straight season with 20 or more stolen bases. He finished with a team-leading 21 steals... hit his career-high 16th HR on 8/29 at FLA and established a Club record for HR by a shortstop (Solly Hemus had 15 in '52)... his career-best 76 RBI were just six shy of the Club record for a shortstop (Doc Laven had 82 in 1921)... finished 2nd on the team in RBI, trailing Jim Edmonds who finished with 108... finished tied with Edmonds for team lead in multi-hit games with 46... his 3-run triple proved to be winning hit on 9/4 vs. MON... had a HR (No. 12) and had a career-best 4 RBI on 7/21 at HOU... made his second All-Star appearance, replacing injured Mark McGwire... had fine game on 6/29 at CIN, going 3-for-5 with HR (No. 10), 2 runs and 2 RBI... went 2-for-3 on 5/18, clubbed 8th HR on 5/17 and had 3 hits 5/16, all at PHI... homered in back-to-back games vs. SF on 5/10 and 5/11 at Pac Bell Park... was 3-for-4 with HR (No. 4), a pair of doubles and 2 runs scored 4/18 vs. Padres... reached base 5 times (3 hits, 2 walks) 4/16 [2] at COL... homered for 3rd straight game 4/11 at HOU and had a career-best 4 RBI.

2001 - Posted another solid year for the Cardinals - his third season in a Redbirds uniform...Reached double-digits in home runs (10) for the third straight season and led the club with 17 stolen bases, but also batted a career-low .260...Batted .327 vs. lefthanded pitchers...Notched 37 multi-hit games and collected six game-winning RBIs. Thirty-three of his 57 RBIs came with two outs...Rebounded from a slow start to post a .283 batting average after the All-Star break, including a .321 mark in August and a .303 tally in September...Hit safely in 42 of his last 58 games (61-for-204; .299), raising his BA from .226 on 7/26 to a season-ending mark of .260...Went 3-for-5 with three runs scored on 4/4 at COL and hit a 432-foot opposite-field homer off Denny Neagle...Hit a three-run home run (#2) off Randy Johnson on 4/8 at ARI...Walked and scored the winning run vs. ARI on a Randy Johnson wild pitch on 4/18...Snapped an 0-for-11 skid with a 2-for-4 game on 5/4 at ATL, including two-run single...His two-run, pinch-hit single drove home the go-ahead run on 5/10 vs. PIT...On 5/17, made his first start since 5/7 and went 2-for-5 with a double and two RBIs. He'd missed the previous eight starts due to a strained left quad muscle...Had the game-winning hit off John Rocker in the ninth inning of a 4-3 win at CLE on 7/8. Went 3-for-5 in the game and 6-for-14 (.429) in the three-game CLE series just before the All-Star break...Matched his career high with four hits on 7/31 vs. ATL and went 7-for-10 in the 7/31-8/2 series...Posted a .545 (12-for-22) batting average during 7/31-8/5 homestand, including three-hit game 8/5 vs. FLA...Had a 10-game hitting streak (13-for-37, .351) 8/8-17. After going hitless in two at-bats on 8/18, came back with three hits on 8/19 vs. PHI.

2002 - Arguably the best all-around shortstop in the National League, Edgar had an outstanding season in 2002 ... He claimed his second career N.L. Silver Slugger Award and won his first N.L. Gold Glove Award. He and Scott Rolen became the first Cardinals to cop both Silver and Gold in the same season since Ozzie Smith did it in 1987 ... Was voted by his peers as the shortstop on The Sporting News N.L. All-Star team for the second time (2000) and also received two votes in N.L. MVP balloting by the BBWAA ... He led all N.L. shortstops in batting average (.305) and in RBI (83) ... Edgar's .372 (55-for-148) batting average with runners in scoring position ranked third in the league ... Reached double-digits in home runs (11) for the fourth straight season and led the club with 22 stolen bases. His 83 RBI established a career high ... Had 82 RBI as a shortstop (one as a pinch hitter), equaling Doc Lavan's 1921 club mark for that position ... His .305 average was 45 points higher than 2001, when he hit a career-low .260 ... Reached the 20-steal plateau for the fifth time in his career ... Notched 46 multi-hit games and collected 10 game-winning RBIs ... Batted .327 (86-for-263) after the All-Star Break ... Led St. Louis and tied for eighth in the N.L. with 30 infield hits. Had eight bunt hits ... Hit safely in 18 of his first 25 games of the year ... Went 2-for-4 with two RBI on Opening Day (4/1) vs. COL ... Had pair of doubles in the Cards' 4/9 win vs. MIL and had a three-hit game on 4/10, delivering the game-tying run in the ninth inning ... Hit his first home run of the year on 5/6 at CHI - his first homer since 8/20/01 ... Went 2-for-4 with a game-winning home run (#2) in the eighth inning on 5/10 at CIN ... Had a three-RBI game on 6/1 vs. PIT ... Hit his third home run in a 2-for-3 game on 6/18 vs. ANA and went 2-for-4 with a triple on 6/20 ... His double (#19) on 6/27 vs. MIL matched his 2001 season total ... Hit .404 (38-for-94) in the month of July ... Had a four-hit game on 7/16 at LA ... Hit a game-winning two-run double in the ninth inning on 7/22 at SF ... Collected his 1,000th career hit on 7/26 vs. CHI with a bunt single in the sixth inning off Jon Leiber ... His three-run walk-off HR (#5) capped a six-run ninth and lifted the Cards to 10-9 Sunday-night win on 7/28 vs. CHI ... Smacked a pair of home runs (#6 & #7) on 7/30 at FLA, giving him three homers in a span of four at-bats ... Hit his first career grand slam 8/18 at PHI ... Had a career-high five RBI on 9/4 vs. CIN, including his second grand slam ... Had the game-winning RBI on 9/13 at HOU, completing a 3-for-4 game in which he had two RBI and a stolen base ... Belted his 11th home run 9/18 at COL, matching his career RBI high at 76.

PERSONAL: Received "San Carlos Cross of the Order of the Great Knight," Colombia's highest honor, from President Ernesto Samper at La Casa de Narino presidential palace on 11/4/97 ... named 1997 "Man of the Year" by El Espectador newspaper in a vote among 11 of Colombia's most outstanding public figures ... also named 1997 "Sportsman of the Year" by El Espectador ... received the Jose Acevedo y Gomez award from the city council of Bogotá,Colombia on 12/8/02, which is given to those Colombians who have shown an oustanding performance in cultural, sports or scientific fields ... received the J. Roy Stockton/Bob Broeg award for outstanding achievement in baseball on 1/21/03 and 1/20/04 at the Baseball Writers Dinner in St. Louis, MO ... named "Athlete of the Year" by Colombian weekly sports magazine El Espectador on 11/29/03 ... was signed to a professional contract by Marlins scout Levy Ochoa ... attended Instituto Los Alpes HS in Barranquilla, Colombia ... has been active in Cardinals Care, helping in numerous hospital visits and fundraising events ... in 2002 he funded Edgar Renteria Field at Jackie Joyner-Kersee Center and was the spokesman for the St. Louis Public School reading program ... has a daughter, Nicole ... Edgar is single and resides in Pembrooke Pines, Fla.

RENTERIA - CAREER TRANSACTIONS

- Signed by Florida Marlins as a non-drafted free agent, February 14, 1992.
- On Florida disabled list (strained right hamstring), June 24 to July 11, 1996; included injury rehabilitation assignment to Charlotte, July 3 to July 11.
- On Florida disabled list (bruised right knee), August 25 to September 9, 1998.
- Traded to St. Louis Cardinals for pitchers Armando Almanza and Braden Looper and shortstop Pablo Ozuna, December 14, 1998.


Spanish

La difícil situación económica de la familia Rentería Erazo, compuesta por padre, madre y ocho hijos, no daba siquiera para que niños y niñas durmieran en su propia cama. Todo había que compartirlo.

Por eso, Édgar Enrique, nacido el 7 de agosto de 1975 en el barrio Montecristo de Barranquilla, siempre lo hizo al lado de su hermano mayor Édinson. De pequeños, los Rentería supieron lo que era el trabajo a destajo. Muy temprano se quedaron sin la protección del hombre de la casa quien murió justo cuando Édgar estaba por cumplir dos años de vida.

Al amparo de Édinson, su hermano y mejor amigo, Arracacha, como se le conoció de niño, se levantó en las polvorientas calles del barrio pegándole a una pelota de trapo hasta llegar a ser, por estatura, uno de los pelaos infaltables en los desafíos callejeros. Pero la vida le tenía reservado algo mejor. Pese a su gusto por el fútbol, Édinson nunca vio con buenos ojos que Édgar lo practicara porque cuando lo hacía aquél estaba jugando pelota chica en los diamantes improvisados o en el estadio de béisbol. "Yo lo regañaba cuando lo encontraba jugando fútbol.

Yo siempre quise que se dedicara al béisbol", señala Édinson, convertido hoy en su consejero, tal vez bajo la premisa de "vigilarlo" -cuidarlo- más de cerca. Con el paso de los años, y ante la insistencia de Édinson, Edgar se dejó tentar. Un buen día apareció en el campo de pelota vestido con una camiseta y unos mochos, como lo recuerda bien Aracelly Santana, la celadora del estadio Once de Noviembre, hace 19 años: "Esos mochos hoy son los más famosos de Barranquilla".

Introvertido y tímido, algo solitario pero buen hijo, hermano y amigo, Rentería creció al calor del afecto de doña Visitación, su madre, y de lo que conseguían sus hermanos mayores, a la sazón, obreros de la economía informal de Barranquilla, hasta convertirse en beisbolista y hacer realidad un sueño de joven: llegar a las Grandes Ligas para emular a Joaquín Gutiérrez, el gran pelotero cartagenero que consolidó, en la década de los ochentas, la imagen de los colombianos en Estados Unidos.

Firmado a los 16 años por la organización Marlins de Florida, a instancias del colombiano Jolbert Cabrera -q.e.p.d.- y del cazatalentos Levy Ochoa, bateó el primer hit de la historia de esa organización en 1.992. Debutó en las Grandes Ligas el 10 de mayo de 1.996 y ese año compitió por el trofeo de Novato del Año en la Liga Nacional. Un año después, conectó el batazo decisivo, en el séptimo y último partido, para llevar a los Marlins a ganar el título en la Serie Mundial contra los Indios de Cleveland, convirtiéndose en el deportista estrella de la organización. "Edgar se forjó a punta de sacrificio y de un profundo deseo de superación. Siempre antepuso el hecho que querer sacar a su familia de la extrema pobreza.

Por eso ha llegado tan lejos", manifiesta Alberto Agámez, una de las primeras personas que confío en sus condiciones y quien contribuyó haciéndolo conocer en el país. Fue transferido en 1999 a los Cardenales de San Luis, en el que se mantiene como paracortos insustituible, en cuya organización tiene dos records ofensivos en su posición en una temporada: mayor cantidad de jonrones (16) y mayor número de carreras impulsadas (83), que estaban vigentes desde 1952 y 1921, respectivamente.

Con esta franquicia ha ganado dos Bates de Plata (al mejor bateador por posición), el último el año pasado, cuando también alcanzó su primer Guante de Oro (mejor a la defensiva). De valores humanos incalculables, "Rentería sigue siendo el mismo amigo de sus amigos en Barranquilla. Cada fin de temporada regresa de San Luis, se pone los mochos y va a jugar en los mismos campos donde empezó", cuenta Freddy Jinete Daza, cronista deportivo especializado en béisbol."Pero, además, tiene el corazón tan bondadoso que aparte de sostener su familia, ayuda a la causa de los niños pobres "Es un hombre generoso y demasiado colaborador con la gente de escasos recursos.

Cada final de año celebra la Navidad y el Año Nuevo a niños de Barranquilla, llevándoles un poco de alegría", señala Carlos Roque García, quien maneja todo lo relacionado con la Fundación Team Rentería. Paralelamente, Edgar promovió la construcción de un estadio para niños pobres en San Luis, Estados Unidos. "Ser colombiano Ejemplar es un reconocimiento merecido para él. Pese a su timidez, sé que lo recibe con honor y con esa misma humildad que ha demostrado desde hace once años cuando se fue a Estados Unidos para intentar reivindicar el nombre del país. Personas como él son las que necesitamos en Colombia", recalcó García plasmando de cuerpo entero a Edgar Rentería, un COLOMBIANO ejemplar.

 

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