Saturday, June 16, 2012

Hall of Famer Auto - Willie Stargell

One of my earliest non-Giants baseball memories was the We are Family 1979 Pittsburgh Pirates team.  I believe it was the first World Series I watched in it entirety and I was root root rooting for the Pirates since they shared a place in the National League with my Giants.  I loved the uniforms, the yellow and black coloring, the unique hats, all of it.  I even bought a Giants hat of the same style, black with orange lines circling it.

My favorite player on that team was Dave Parker.  I have picked up a couple Parker cards over the years in his Pirates uni. However, the undisputed leader of that team was Pops, Willie Stargell.  Stargell shared the MVP that year with Keith Hernandez and put up some nice numbers, .281 BA, 32 HR and 82 RBI, and while those weren't typical MVP numbers, he was rewarded in part for his leadership and the season the Pirates had finishing 98-64.  These stats don't compare to his peak in the early 70s when over a 3 year period he averaged in the mid-0.290s with 40+ HRs and 115+ RBI.   In addition to the MVP that year, Stargell also won the NLCS and World Series MVPs, quite the trifecta!

The next HOF auto I want to showcase is Stargell's 1992 Front Row Autograph.  This card came with a COA numbering it 0250/5000.  The 5000 print run kept this card affordable.  Pops passed away too early at the age of 61 in 2001 and wasn't around for the influx of auto cards in the hobby so most of his certified auto cards are limited to a few "oddball" release such as this or cut autos.  I am proud to own this copy of this inspirations HOFer.

I will close this post with a quote I recently ran across about Willie that is one of the most awesome baseball quotes I can recall.  “He doesn’t just hit pitchers,” said former Pirates manager Chuck Tanner. “He takes away their dignity.”


  1. Great post! I was a big fan of that 79 team, as it was the first World Series I watched. He was a great leader and powerful hitter.

  2. I applaud you. As a fan of Willie myself, I'm jealous. My son has watched the DVD's of that series and for the last two years wears #8 and we all call him Pops now.