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Monday, October 09, 2006

Willie Stargell

Eligible in 1988.

John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: October 09, 2006 at 07:02 PM | 23 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
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   1. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: October 09, 2006 at 07:09 PM (#2204936)
Only 9,026 PA, which is surprising since he played for 21 seasons. I thought I remembered him as being more durable, but he was something like McCovey, though slightly inferior quality-wise to Stretch.
   2. BDC Posted: October 09, 2006 at 07:26 PM (#2204947)
Interesting. In fact, Stargell is the all-time leader in most MVP Shares among players who never played 150 games in a season. Second on that list is Carl Hubbell.
   3. kthejoker Posted: October 09, 2006 at 07:52 PM (#2204971)
He hit a lot of triples for a man of that size. All those triples must've worn him out.
   4. Steve Treder Posted: October 09, 2006 at 07:54 PM (#2204974)
I thought I remembered him as being more durable

Early in his career the Pirates never made him a full-time regular, generally sitting him down against the toughest LHP (having Manny Mota on the bench made that a decent choice). Then beginning by about 1970 or so, Stargell's knees started to get a little cranky, and so he'd sit down on occasion to give them a rest.
   5. Steve Treder Posted: October 09, 2006 at 08:01 PM (#2204983)
He hit a lot of triples for a man of that size. All those triples must've worn him out.

That was almost entirely a Forbes Field phenomenon. Stargell from 1962 thru 1970 hit 34 triples at home, 4 on the road.

Best. Triples. Park. Ever.
   6. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: October 09, 2006 at 08:07 PM (#2204991)
Early in his career the Pirates never made him a full-time regular, generally sitting him down against the toughest LHP (having Manny Mota on the bench made that a decent choice). Then beginning by about 1970 or so, Stargell's knees started to get a little cranky, and so he'd sit down on occasion to give them a rest.


I wasn't aware of his early career, Steve. As for his creeky legs, that's starting to come back to me now. He always looked as if he would collapse to the ground at any second.

Best. Triples. Park. Ever.

Chief Wilson says hi. :-)
   7. Dr. Chaleeko Posted: October 09, 2006 at 08:16 PM (#2205001)
Perhaps because of his brittleness or platoon issues, Stargell's career doesn't stack up as well as one might think based on his reputation as one of the best hitters of his era. He's in the top 22 or 23 for sure, but he's closer to 20 or 21 (all-time) than I'd have figured. I actually prefer Billy Williams to Stargell. And I wasn't a big Williams fan.
   8. Jim Sp Posted: October 09, 2006 at 11:51 PM (#2205189)
I agree, Stargell's lack of in season durability knocks him way down from where I would have expected him to go. He'll be on my ballot but towards the bottom.
   9. TomH Posted: October 10, 2006 at 12:05 AM (#2205195)
Pops we r family 79 = cookie monster 2004
   10. OCF Posted: October 10, 2006 at 12:31 AM (#2205221)
And the 1979 MVP vote was, well, .... Probably no real need to rehash this. But I will, anyway.

Dave Parker: .310/.380/.526 (OPS+ 141) in 707 PA.
Willie Stargell: .281/.352/.552 (OPS+ 139) in 480 PA.

Stargell was a first baseman; Parker was a right fielder with good range and a good arm. Parker "only" had 94 RBI. Do that as triple crown numbers and you get Parker .310/25/94 and Stargell .281/32/82. Expressing it that way somewhat blunts the impact of the differences in playing time.

Why didn't Parker have 100 RBI? Because he was batting third all year behind Moreno (OBP .333) and Foli (OBP .335). When it wasn't Foli, it was Garner (.359) which is a little better. Moreno was a big-time basestealer, so he was often in scoring position - but Parker could have driven him in from first with doubles, anyway.

We know what was really going on: the Pirates were a successful team, the division winners (and eventual WS winners) with a strong image and personality - and the writers were looking, as they usually do, for someone from a winning team to recognize. Stargell was the clubhouse leader, the center of the perceived team personality. Parker was being downgraded by the writers for "character issues." The other division winner, Cincinnati, only won 90 games (although if you do look at them, you have another corner outfielder in George Foster with similar playing time issues and a batting record as good as Stargell's, and you have Johnny Bench with a 123 OPS+.

In the actual voting, Stargell tied for first with Keith Hernandez (slick-fielding 1st baseman, OPS+ 155, OPB-heavy). Dave Winfield (OPS+ 165) was third. Larry Parrish (3rd baseman for the 95-win Expos, OPS+ 146) was 4th, Ray Knight of the Reds was 5th. (3B, OPS+ 120). Parker was 10th, Foster 12th, Mike Schmidt (OPS+ 154 as a third baseman) was 13th, Gary Carter 17th, Bench 23. Exactly why they hit on Knight as the Red's leader in the voting instead of Bench or Foster I don't know.
   11. Mike Emeigh Posted: October 10, 2006 at 02:42 AM (#2205312)
Dave Parker: .310/.380/.526 (OPS+ 141) in 707 PA.
Willie Stargell: .281/.352/.552 (OPS+ 139) in 480 PA.


Parker won the MVP a year earlier with a much better season. The "character issues" with Parker didn't really surface until a year later, when he fell *way* off (and started looking fat and out of shape).

Exactly why they hit on Knight as the Red's leader in the voting instead of Bench or Foster I don't know.


It was the Reds' first year without Rose. Knight, who had been a pinch-hitter and occasional late-game replacement for Rose the previous two seasons, took over and was outstanding. Bench was clearly in decline, and Foster missed a significant amount of time with an injury. Knight played nearly every day.

-- MWE
   12. Mike Emeigh Posted: October 10, 2006 at 02:47 AM (#2205316)
Missed this the first time through:

Parker was a right fielder with good range and a good arm.


Parker *didn't* have good range. The Pirates allowed a lot of extra-base hits to right field, largely because Parker was slow getting over to cut the ball off. And Parker's arm, while strong, was erratic; he overthrew cutoff men a fair amount, giving up extra bases on the back end of plays. When I looked at runner advancements against outfielders a few years ago, Parker was below the mid-range among right fielders, even when you take his baserunner kills into account.

-- MWE
   13. sunnyday2 Posted: October 10, 2006 at 03:43 AM (#2205358)
I can never decide of Stargell is more Cepeda or more McCovey. it makes a difference.

Win Shares

Stargell 370/36-35-29-27-26-25-22-22-21-20-18-17-17-16-13 = 344 WS in 15 yrs ? 10 (22.9/yr)
Cepeda 310/34-30-29-26-26-23-23-21-20-19-19-17-13 = 300 WS in 13 yrs ? 10 (23.1/yr)
McCovey 408/39-34-34-33-29-29-25-24-22-16-16-16-13-12-12-12-11-10 = 387 in 18 yrs (21.5/yr)

OPS+ (in ? 100 games)

Stargell 147/189-88-69-66-64-64-56-47-38-36-30-29-25-24-23-4 in 16 years and 7270 AB+BB (450/yr)
Cepeda 133/166-66-58-35-34-33-32-30-30-26-16-9-7 in 13 years and 8400 AB+BB (650/yr)
McCovey 148/212-83-76-64-63-62-61-61-52-51-31-30-30-26-8-3 in 16 yrs and 7020 AB+BB (440/yr)

Now I remember. More like McCovey. Great rates, but not (as stated above) durable. I am surprised at how much better than Cepeda he is.
   14. Chris Cobb Posted: October 10, 2006 at 04:30 AM (#2205388)
Stargell was the top power hitter in the NL in the early 1970s between McCovey's prime and Schmidt's rise. The lack of durability cost him on counting stats, but he was a great hitter. If he'd been able to stay healthy, he would have easily hit 50 home runs in 1971 (48 in 141 games).
   15. jingoist Posted: October 10, 2006 at 09:42 PM (#2205977)
Outside of The Great One, Stargell was the best player on the Pirates during the second half of the 20th Century.
That said he did have recurring injury problems and eventually became a league average fielder at first base.
I wouldn't expect the voters to have too difficult time placing Wille in the HoM.
"Spread some chicken on the Hill, Wil"
   16. JPWF13 Posted: October 10, 2006 at 10:00 PM (#2205999)
Parker *didn't* have good range. The Pirates allowed a lot of extra-base hits to right field, largely because Parker was slow getting over to cut the ball off.


yes, but he was widely perceived (before he got fat) to be a superior defensive OF-
I still remember a drooling article that appeared somewtime in 1978/79 in Baseball Digest, where the author speculated that when all was said & done that perhaps, just maybe, Parker would be the best player in baseball
.
.
.
.
HISTORY

I kid you not (amazingly I think Baseball Digest was the first national publication to publish some of Bill James stuff at or about the same time...)
   17. Mark Donelson Posted: October 17, 2006 at 11:49 PM (#2215454)
Fellow peaksters (particularly Sunny, since you seem to be a Stargell booster and also liked Howard, IIRC): Stargell vs. Frank Howard. Talk amongst yourselves.

I know Willie's rates were better, but in overall value, does Howard catch him?
   18. BDC Posted: October 17, 2006 at 11:59 PM (#2215462)
Rod Carew was our model for perennial batting champs back in 1978/79. Parker looked to be a guy who would hit for Carew's average, but with 30 HR a year plus an amazing throwing arm in right plus in a pinch could play outside linebacker for the Steelers. People thought he was very good indeed, and they were right for a brief while.
   19. Howie Menckel Posted: October 22, 2006 at 01:22 AM (#2220732)
a bump for the top newcomer on the 1988 ballot, since it took me a lotta clicks to find it....
   20. bbfan Posted: August 29, 2007 at 09:27 PM (#2503792)
Stargell stats, which are quite good, do not tell the whole story. He was a clutch hitter. He got big hits in big games. His performance in 1979 was unreal. I went to, watched, or listened to every game that year. His key hits helped win a ton of close games. And that year anyway, he was actually a great fielding 1B. I am not kidding anyone here ...he had no range ...but he was superb at picking throws out of the dirt or snagging wide throws. He saved alot of errors on the SS, 2B, and 3B. I think that he had only 3 errors himself. And he was a very good LF in his early years too. Great arm (20 assists one year) and sure hands.
   21. Fred Lynn Nolan Ryan Sweeney Agonistes Posted: March 20, 2010 at 12:20 AM (#3482632)
Stargell stats, which are quite good, do not tell the whole story. He was a clutch hitter. He got big hits in big games. His performance in 1979 was unreal. I went to, watched, or listened to every game that year. His key hits helped win a ton of close games.


You know, that's how I thought it went, too -- the NBJHA suggests that he got hot at the end of the season in a tight pennant race, and that's what swung the voters his way.

But the last two months of the season, Stargell went .229/.327/440, a .767 OPS.

He might've got some key hits in there, but he would've had to be picking his spots really well.
   22. AndrewJ Posted: March 20, 2010 at 01:20 AM (#3482640)
In the actual (1979 NL MVP) voting, Stargell tied for first with Keith Hernandez (slick-fielding 1st baseman, OPS+ 155, OPB-heavy) (...) Mike Schmidt (OPS+ 154 as a third baseman) was 13th

Well, the three-time defending NL East champion Phillies collapsed in '79. Through the end of July Schmidt was on pace to hit 50+ homers, but he pretty much went oh-for-August and September while Pops had some late-season heroics.
   23. Sunday silence Posted: June 08, 2010 at 01:42 AM (#3553164)
Stargell rested quite a bit near the end of the '79 season as I recall. I would get upset to see his name not in the line up near the end of the season. But Tanner must have spotted him well to get that much production out ofhim. I think he played in all of the play off games. There was one memorable highlight of his, I think it was 79; as he was coming into second base on attempted steal, out by 10 feet at least and before he even gets there he pulls up and attempts to call time out! very amusing.

In the early 70s, yes he appeared to get many key hits. I remember listening to one late innings game with Bob Prince calling for "a bloop and a blast" and damn if Stargell didnt get it. Should also point out that Johnny Bench had tremendous power as well at the same time and won 2 Hr titles during that time period.

Parker was maddening in his fielding. There was that all star game where he threww out two runners from RF, one was Eddie Murray I think. Parker won the MVP of the game (couple of big hits in there as well) but funny enuf on the one outfield assist he actually misplayed a fly, I think it was a foul ball or maybe it bounced fair and Murray or someone tried to leg it for a triple and was out. (The other play was out at the plate on a laser throw). I always wondered if he had actually just made the catch would he have won the game MVP?

Parker got really fat or really barrel chested very soon after coming up and it seemed he could never get around on the ball. Pitchers would pitch him outside and he would just never seem to be able to drive the ball to RF. I guess they figured out how to pitch to him. Im not sure when the issues with him arose but I think sooner than 79. There were incidents where he accused people at three rivers of throwing batteries at him, and I think he even came up with a battery once. People would do crappy things like that in the 70s before security cameras and the uptake in security. Whether the battery thing was true or not, there was clearly some tension between Parker and fans from an early stage. I think at first the writers supported Parker but then maybe later they got sick of him.

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