Sunday, December 20, 2020

MINOR LEAGUE DAYS- WILLIE STARGELL

The next star to be added to the "Minor League Days" 1971 sub-set is "Pops" Willie Stargell, who was wrapping up his four-year Minor League career in 1962 when this photo was taken, playing for the Columbus Jets as a 22-year-old:

 

Stargell hit .276 for Columbus that season, along with 27 homers and 82 runs batted in while scoring 97 runs himself over 497 at-bats in 138 games.

At the end of the season he'd get called up to the Big Leagues, where he'd remain for the next 21 years, leading the Pittsburgh Pirates to two world championships, take home an MVP Award in 1979 (shared with the Cardinals Keith Hernandez), and get named to seven All-Star teams along the way.
"Pops" would also have a great three-year run between 1971 and 1973 that saw him finish second, third and second respectively in MVP voting, winning two home run tiles, an RBI title and even lead the league with 43 doubles (1973).
Luckily, I got to see him towards the end of his career in the late-70's/early-80s before he retired after the 1982 season.
His final number? Hall of Fame worthy as he'd finish with 475 home runs, 1540 RBIs, a surprisingly high .282 batting average and 2232 hits over 2360 games and 7927 at-bats.
Think about those numbers in UNDER 8000 at-bats!
Of course when eligible for the Hall of Fame, he was in, with 82.4% of the vote in 1988.
So sad that he would pass away at only 61 years of age in 2001.

Rest in Peace "Pops"...


 

8 comments:

  1. It's "Pops" before he started looking like a Pops, right Gio?

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  3. Sooooo strange to see Stargell in what looks like a Reds cap. I know it ISN'T a Reds cap, but the wishbone C certainly reminds me of theirs.

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  4. Those '70-'75 Bucco teams were fantastic. And if they actually had an ace like Seaver or a Hunter maybe they'd been in a few more World Series. Really would have like a Pirate/A's match up.

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