Easy talkers welcome back! You already know the dealio… It’s Wednesday and I’m here to bring to you, the weekly legend of the week… and who better than a man named Willie…. Stragell. I hope you enjoy!
Wilver Dornell “Willie” Stargell, aka ‘Pops’… was born on March 6th 1940 and grew up in Earlsboro, Oklahoma. He later ended up moving to California, and attended Encinal High School… Stargell signed with the Pittsburgh Pirates organization and entered minor league baseball in 1959. While playing in the farm systems he traveled to states such as; New Mexico, Iowa, Texas, North Carolina, and Ohio which, he had to deal with difficult times facing racism. Certain area’s did not allow him to stay with white people in the same buildings and, had to revert to poor black neighborhoods. On one night Willie was held up at gun point and was threatened to not play in the game being played later that night… Willie heroically still played that game and no one came to harm.
Somehow and someway these players back in the day were built like horses… Willie played 21 seasons with the Pirates… and you can’t be a legend without having a funky swing or pitch… in this case Willie, had a unique bat-handling practice of holding only the knob of the bat with his lower hand to provide extra bat extension.
and if you’d like check out this video of some his swings… Click me! … Another neat, only a legend would do is… When Willie would warm up in the on-deck circle, he wouldn’t use bat’s with weights on them… instead he would use a smaller sledgehammer. (how gangster is that), and of course he would swing that thing around until the pitcher was in his windup. Oh ya did I mentioned he played with Roberto Clemente? Pretty sweet.
Pittsburgh Pirates (1962-1982)
- 7x All Star (1964-1966), (1971–1973), (1978)
- 2x World Series championship (1971) (1979)
- NL MVP (1979)
- NLCS MVP (1979)
- Roberto Clemente Award (1974)
- 2x NL Home Run leader (1971) (1973)
- NL RBI Leader (1973)
- Pittsburgh Pirates retired #8
- Member of the National Baseball Hall of Fame (1988)
All Time Stats:
- In the 1985 trial of alleged cocaine dealer Curtis Strong, Stargell was accused by Dale Berra and John Milner (both former Pirates teammates) of distributing “greenies” (amphetamines) to players.Berra said that he obtained amphetamines from Stargell and Bill Madlock; he said he could get them from Stargell “on any given day I asked him for one.” Stargell strongly denied these charges. Commissioner Peter Ueberroth later cleared Stargell and Madlock of any wrongdoing.
- He shared the Sports Illustrated magazine’s “Sportsmen of the Year” award with NFL quarterback Terry Bradshaw.