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Willie Stargell Autographs, Memorabilia & Collectibles

Born: March 06, 1940 in Earlsboro, Oklahoma
Died: April 09, 2001 in Wilmington, North Carolina
Biography | show moreshow less

Full name Wilver Dornel Stargell
Born March 6, 1940, Earlsboro, Oklahoma
Died April 9, 2001, Wilmington, North Carolina
Buried at Oleander Memorial Gardens, Wilmington, North Carolina
First Game: September 16, 1962; Final Game: October 3, 1982
Bat: Left Throw: Left Height: 6' 2" Weight: 188

Selected to the Hall of Fame in 1988
Named NL Most Valuable Player by Baseball Writers' Association of America (1979)
Named Major League Player of the Year by The Sporting News (1979)
Named NL Comeback Player of the Year by The Sporting News (1978)
Named NL League Championship Series Most Valuable Player (1979)
Named World Series Most Valuable Player (1979)
Named first baseman on The Sporting News NL All-Star Team (1972)
Named outfielder on The Sporting News NL All-Star Team (1965 to 1966 and 1971)

This article was written by James Forr and is presented in part, courtesy of the Society for American Baseball Research

Following the Pittsburgh Pirates’ loss to the Chicago Cubs on October 1, 2000, 60-year-old Willie Stargell emerged to throw a ceremonial final pitch at the soon-to-be-demolished Three Rivers Stadium. Even though most people who followed the Pirates knew “Pops” was in poor health his frail, spectral appearance that afternoon was shocking. He was almost unrecognizable, barely able to walk on his own, a much-too-large gold Pirate jersey drooping pitifully from his emaciated shoulders. His feeble toss to catcher Jason Kendall barely went ten feet.

The poignant image of the dying man on the field that afternoon contrasted so dramatically with the mighty and fearsome slugger of an earlier time. It wasn’t long ago, with his mile-long home runs and gentle giant persona, that Willie Stargell seemed almost indestructible.

His childhood was not only challenging but also a little bit weird. Wilver Dornel Stargell was born March 6, 1940, in tiny Earlsboro, Oklahoma, the son of William and Gladys Vernell Stargell. (His unusual first name was an amalgamation of his father’s first name and his mother’s maiden name). But before Willie was born, his dad skipped town. It wasn’t until 1960, when Stargell was 19, that the two men finally met. “I accepted my father as he was,” Willie insisted later. “I didn’t offer judgment on what he had done and eventually I grew to love him for what he was.”

Film Credits | show moreshow less

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