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Subject: ARCHIVE: April 9, 2001 ~Willie Stargell, MLB Hall of Famer who played exclusively for the Pittsburgh Pirates, helped earn the team 6 NL East division titles, 2 NL pennants, and 2 World Series (1971/1979), dies of heart failure just 2 days before the unveiling of his larger-than-life statue, at the Pirates' new stadium, PNC Park at opening-day ceremonies. He was 61. ...

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Date Posted: Tuesday, April 09, 06:43:42pm

Willie Stargell
[ Wilver Dornell Stargell ]
(March 6, 1940 April 9, 2001)


Nicknamed "Pops" in the later years of his career, was an American professional baseball player.
He played his entire Major League Baseball (MLB) career (19621982) as the left fielder and
1st baseman for the Pittsburgh Pirates of the National League (NL). Over his 21-year career with
the Pirates, he batted .282, with 2,232 hits, 423 doubles, 475 home runs, and 1,540 runs batted in,
helping his team capture six NL East division titles, two National League pennants, and two
World Series (1971, 1979). Stargell was inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1988.

Later Years
After retirement, Stargell spent two years as a first base coach for the Atlanta Braves from 1986-1988, wearing his customary #8. He was the first minor-league hitting coach for Chipper Jones. He was inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1988, his first year of eligibility. He had an awkward interaction with the Pirates that season when the team wanted to schedule a Willie Stargell Night to honor his Hall of Fame election. Stargell refused to participate in the team's plans, still stinging from the team's refusal to even consider him for its managerial job that season.

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 accusations. Commissioner Peter Ueberroth later cleared Stargell and Madlock of any wrongdoing.

Stargell returned to the Pittsburgh club in 1997 as an aide to Cam Bonifay, the team's general manager. He also worked as a special baseball adviser to Pirates owner Kevin McClatchy, who called Stargell "the ultimate class act". Stargell was hospitalized for three weeks in 1999 to treat undisclosed medical problems with one of his organs. A source close to the Pirates blamed Stargell's health issues on his weight gain after retiring as a player. Stargell lost some of that weight, but gained weight again while working for the Pittsburgh front office.

After years of suffering from a kidney disorder, he died of complications related to a stroke in Wilmington, North Carolina, on April 9, 2001. In his later life, Stargell had also suffered from hypertension and heart failure. A segment of Stargell's bowel was removed more than two years before he died. He had been in the hospital recovering from a gallbladder surgery at the time of his death. On April 7, 2001, two days before Stargell died, a larger-than-life statue of him was unveiled at the Pirates' new stadium, PNC Park, as part of the opening-day ceremonies. Stargell was interred at Oleander Memorial Gardens, in Wilmington, NC. ...

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Subject Author Date
Wasn't Stargell sued by the golddigging mother of the golddigging actress Robin Givens, for spreading an STD, sometime in the 1980s?? (NT)Seems it made the news back then?Tuesday, April 09, 06:53:22pm

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