Baseball for the Thinking Fan

Login | Register | Feedback

btf_logo
You are here > Home > Baseball Newsstand > Baseball Primer Newsblog > Discussion
Baseball Primer Newsblog
— The Best News Links from the Baseball Newsstand

Monday, April 09, 2001

ESPN Classic - Stargell was Pirates’ inspirational leader in ‘70s

When I was a kid, I had my dad buy one of those plastic Pirate helmets because of Stargell. I’d mimic his antics in the batter’s box during Wiffle ball games. RIP, Pops.  :>(

The Original Gary Posted: April 09, 2001 at 07:50 PM | 1 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags:

Reader Comments and Retorts

Go to end of page

Statements posted here are those of our readers and do not represent the BaseballThinkFactory. Names are provided by the poster and are not verified. We ask that posters follow our submission policy. Please report any inappropriate comments.

   1. Bruce Markusen Posted: April 10, 2001 at 01:03 AM (#66648)
As someone who was a particularly big fan of Willie Stargell, it was a particularly emotional day for me at the Hall of Fame today. After Roberto Clemente, Stargell was my favorite player while growing up in the early 1970s. A few remembrances of "Big Willie:"

*The "windmilling" of the bat that Stargell went through during each at-bat made him one of the two most distinctive hitters to watch during the era of the sixties and seventies. The other was Joe Morgan, who flapped his right elbow like a chicken wing as he awaited each pitch.

*Stargell's long home runs--particularly two blasts that he belted completely out of Dodger Stadium--made me aware of the "tape-measure" home run. Mickey Mantle's long home runs in the 1950s originated the term, but Stargell's penchant for the 450-500 foot bat blast made it a popular phrase among baseball fans my age.

*Off the field, Willie became synonymous with the fight against Sickle Cell Anemia, a disease that affects African Americans exclusively. If if weren't for Stargell, I probably never would have heard of this insipid disease, which affected Pirate teammate Dock Ellis, among thousands of African Americans.

*In 1970, Stargell purchased a restaurant in the Hill section of Pittsburgh--a restaurant that became famous for its chicken. When Stargell hit a home run, Pirate announcer Bob Prince would announce that it was time to spread some "chicken on the hill."

*In 1973, Stargell led the major leagues in home runs, RBIs, slugging percentage, and doubles, and should have won the National League's MVP Award. Instead, the award went to Pete Rose of the Reds.

*In 1974, manager Danny Murtaugh named Stargell the Pirates' captain. In effect, he succeeded Bill Mazeroski, who had been named Bucs captain in 1962 and held the position until his retirement in 1972.

*In the middle of the 1978 season, Stargell began awarding gold stars to teammates as rewards for "little things" that they did to contribute to victories. The "Stargell Stars" became a phenomenon during the 1979 season, when the Pirates captured the fascination of the country on their way to a surprising world championship.

*In 1998, I finally had the chance to meet Willie for the first time. Although he looked frail and his speech had been slowed by his already deteriorating condition, he was a captivating speaker who impressed a group of kids that saw him speak in the Hall of Fame's theater. Later that day, several staff members from the Hall were privileged to have lunch with him. His stories, his sense of humor, and his ability to relate to people he had just met made the day a memorable one.

*Thanks to Willie for providing so many great baseball memories.
   2. Bruce Markusen Posted: April 10, 2001 at 01:03 AM (#67105)
As someone who was a particularly big fan of Willie Stargell, it was a particularly emotional day for me at the Hall of Fame today. After Roberto Clemente, Stargell was my favorite player while growing up in the early 1970s. A few remembrances of "Big Willie:"

*The "windmilling" of the bat that Stargell went through during each at-bat made him one of the two most distinctive hitters to watch during the era of the sixties and seventies. The other was Joe Morgan, who flapped his right elbow like a chicken wing as he awaited each pitch.

*Stargell's long home runs--particularly two blasts that he belted completely out of Dodger Stadium--made me aware of the "tape-measure" home run. Mickey Mantle's long home runs in the 1950s originated the term, but Stargell's penchant for the 450-500 foot bat blast made it a popular phrase among baseball fans my age.

*Off the field, Willie became synonymous with the fight against Sickle Cell Anemia, a disease that affects African Americans exclusively. If if weren't for Stargell, I probably never would have heard of this insipid disease, which affected Pirate teammate Dock Ellis, among thousands of African Americans.

*In 1970, Stargell purchased a restaurant in the Hill section of Pittsburgh--a restaurant that became famous for its chicken. When Stargell hit a home run, Pirate announcer Bob Prince would announce that it was time to spread some "chicken on the hill."

*In 1973, Stargell led the major leagues in home runs, RBIs, slugging percentage, and doubles, and should have won the National League's MVP Award. Instead, the award went to Pete Rose of the Reds.

*In 1974, manager Danny Murtaugh named Stargell the Pirates' captain. In effect, he succeeded Bill Mazeroski, who had been named Bucs captain in 1962 and held the position until his retirement in 1972.

*In the middle of the 1978 season, Stargell began awarding gold stars to teammates as rewards for "little things" that they did to contribute to victories. The "Stargell Stars" became a phenomenon during the 1979 season, when the Pirates captured the fascination of the country on their way to a surprising world championship.

*In 1998, I finally had the chance to meet Willie for the first time. Although he looked frail and his speech had been slowed by his already deteriorating condition, he was a captivating speaker who impressed a group of kids that saw him speak in the Hall of Fame's theater. Later that day, several staff members from the Hall were privileged to have lunch with him. His stories, his sense of humor, and his ability to relate to people he had just met made the day a memorable one.

*Thanks to Willie for providing so many great baseball memories.
   3. Bruce Markusen Posted: April 10, 2001 at 01:03 AM (#67891)
As someone who was a particularly big fan of Willie Stargell, it was a particularly emotional day for me at the Hall of Fame today. After Roberto Clemente, Stargell was my favorite player while growing up in the early 1970s. A few remembrances of "Big Willie:"

*The "windmilling" of the bat that Stargell went through during each at-bat made him one of the two most distinctive hitters to watch during the era of the sixties and seventies. The other was Joe Morgan, who flapped his right elbow like a chicken wing as he awaited each pitch.

*Stargell's long home runs--particularly two blasts that he belted completely out of Dodger Stadium--made me aware of the "tape-measure" home run. Mickey Mantle's long home runs in the 1950s originated the term, but Stargell's penchant for the 450-500 foot bat blast made it a popular phrase among baseball fans my age.

*Off the field, Willie became synonymous with the fight against Sickle Cell Anemia, a disease that affects African Americans exclusively. If if weren't for Stargell, I probably never would have heard of this insipid disease, which affected Pirate teammate Dock Ellis, among thousands of African Americans.

*In 1970, Stargell purchased a restaurant in the Hill section of Pittsburgh--a restaurant that became famous for its chicken. When Stargell hit a home run, Pirate announcer Bob Prince would announce that it was time to spread some "chicken on the hill."

*In 1973, Stargell led the major leagues in home runs, RBIs, slugging percentage, and doubles, and should have won the National League's MVP Award. Instead, the award went to Pete Rose of the Reds.

*In 1974, manager Danny Murtaugh named Stargell the Pirates' captain. In effect, he succeeded Bill Mazeroski, who had been named Bucs captain in 1962 and held the position until his retirement in 1972.

*In the middle of the 1978 season, Stargell began awarding gold stars to teammates as rewards for "little things" that they did to contribute to victories. The "Stargell Stars" became a phenomenon during the 1979 season, when the Pirates captured the fascination of the country on their way to a surprising world championship.

*In 1998, I finally had the chance to meet Willie for the first time. Although he looked frail and his speech had been slowed by his already deteriorating condition, he was a captivating speaker who impressed a group of kids that saw him speak in the Hall of Fame's theater. Later that day, several staff members from the Hall were privileged to have lunch with him. His stories, his sense of humor, and his ability to relate to people he had just met made the day a memorable one.

*Thanks to Willie for providing so many great baseball memories.

You must be Registered and Logged In to post comments.

 

 

<< Back to main

BBTF Partner

Support BBTF

donate

Thanks to
cardsfanboy
for his generous support.

Bookmarks

You must be logged in to view your Bookmarks.

Hot Topics

NewsblogOT: NBA Playoffs Thread 2016
(2649 - 6:01pm, May 28)
Last: aberg

NewsblogOTP 2016 May 23: Baseball owners hear from Democratic, Republican strategists
(1256 - 5:50pm, May 28)
Last: The Yankee Clapper

NewsblogOMNICHATTER 5-28-16
(68 - 5:49pm, May 28)
Last: cardsfanboy

NewsblogQuestions for the Cubs before they open a giant outdoor bar | Chicago Sun-Times
(8 - 5:19pm, May 28)
Last: PreservedFish

NewsblogUncompetitive Minor League Wages Might Be Deterring Talent
(65 - 5:11pm, May 28)
Last: Joe Kehoskie

NewsblogRemington: How to Lose Fans and Alienate People: The 2016 Atlanta Braves
(8 - 5:07pm, May 28)
Last: bfan

NewsblogWade Boggs feels ‘back home’ as Red Sox retire his No. 26 at Fenway Park
(55 - 4:16pm, May 28)
Last: bbmck

NewsblogHector Olivera’s suspension doesn’t fully clarify future with Braves | Jeff Schultz blog
(15 - 4:06pm, May 28)
Last: Joe Bivens, Minor Genius

NewsblogAtkins on Blue Jays’ reputation: ‘I think we’re misunderstood’ - Sportsnet.ca
(17 - 3:55pm, May 28)
Last: ERROR---Jolly Old St. Nick

NewsblogBaseball Prospectus | Tools of Ignorance: The Team-Mandated Player Opt-Out
(8 - 3:35pm, May 28)
Last: bbmck

NewsblogTony LaRussa invades booth to argue with Pirates braodcaster
(31 - 2:18pm, May 28)
Last: Tom Nawrocki

NewsblogTwins suspend pitching coach Neil Allen after DWI arrest
(11 - 1:51pm, May 28)
Last: David Nieporent (now, with children)

NewsblogOT: Soccer March/April 2016
(1257 - 1:49pm, May 28)
Last: Jose Remains The Most Absurd Thing on the Site

NewsblogStew Thornley's macabre adventure: Visiting every dead baseball Hall of Famer's grave
(55 - 11:06am, May 28)
Last: Scott Lange

NewsblogMiklasz: Cards Blow a Chance to Beat Cubs: Another Reason to Despise the Sac Bunt
(28 - 7:44am, May 28)
Last: RMc's Got a Lot of Trouble at Stake

Page rendered in 0.1566 seconds
46 querie(s) executed