Posted: Wednesday, November 13, 2002
On this date in 1979, Willie Stargell was named co-mvp with Keith Hernandez. Stargell, who was of course the team leader during it's World Series season of 79, was 39 years old at the time. He put up impressive numbers hitting .281 with a team leading 32HR's and 2nd on the team to Dave Parker with 82 RBI's.
Willie would lead the team to a 98 win season, edging the Expos by 2 games. In the NLCS, the Pirates would sweep the Reds led by Stargell, who hit .455, 2HR, and 6RBI in the 3 game series. During the World Series Pops would hit .400 with 3 HR and 7RBI's. He hit an important go ahead 2-run home run in game 7, which would help the Bucs beat the Orioles by the score of 4-1.
Willie would also sweep the post-season MVP awards, making it a trifecta for the season. The regular season MVP award would be his only one in his career, but he would finish as high as twice in the voting 2 times and 3rd once.
Dave Parker had won the MVP the previous season and Barry Bonds is the only Pirates player since to win it, back in 90 and 92.
Former Pirates born on this date include 3 pitchers. First, Gene Garber (1947), who started his long career in baseball with the Bucs in 1969. He would play parts of 3 seasons with the team, 69-70, 72 and pitch 20 games with an overall record of 0-3. During his career he would pitch 931 games, winning 96 and saving 218.
He would be traded for Jim Rooker who would play 8 years for the Bucs. In a 5 year span from 73-77 he would win 67 games.
Born on this date in in 1914 was former Bucs pitcher Jack Hallett, who joined them before the 1942 season from the White Sox. Jack would play briefly for the Pirates in the 42 season, pitching in 3 games as a starter and going 0-1.
The next season he would pitch in 9 games,starting 4 and posting a record of 1-2 1.69 ERA before he left to join the military for World War II. Jack would come back after the war was over to play one more season for the Bucs, in 1946, as a part-time starter and reliever, he went 5-7 with a 3.29 ERA. He would lead the team in strikeouts that year with just 64!
Finally, also born on this date in 1915 was former pitcher Ted Wilks who pitched part of the 1951 and 52 seasons with the Pirates. He was part of a 7 player trade with the Cardinals that brought Joe Garagiola to the Bucs and sent Wally Westlake and Cliff Chambers to the Redbirds. Ted would compile a 8-10 record in 92 games before being traded to Cleveland where he would finish his career the next season.
Combined with the 17 games he pitched with St Louis in 1951, Ted would lead the league in games pitched with 65, the second time he led the league (59 appearances in 1949 with the Cardinals). He would also lead the league in saves both of those seasons with 9 in 49' and 13 in 51'.