Laurence “Dutch” Rennert, a National League umpire from 1974–1992, has passed away at the age of 88. You might not even know his name! You know his strikeout call:
If you’re over the age of 35, you probably just had a flashback to hearing Rennert’s strike three call in the background of radio broadcasts. But he wasn’t just the loudest ump; he was the most theatrical, too, taking that deep lunge toward the first-base dugout—it probably inspired Leslie Nielsen’s bit in The Naked Gun.
Per MLB.com, Rennert credited umps Al Barlick and August Donatelli with his style:
“[They said] ‘You’ve got to add something to your work. You’ve got to be a little bit more colorful.’ But I think I got carried away,” Rennert joked during a 2015 television interview. “It wasn’t an act. It just came natural.”