Willie Stargell (March 6, 1940 - April 9, 2001), nicknamed "Pops" in the later years of his career, was a professional baseball player who played his entire Major League career (1962-1982) with the Pittsburgh Pirates as an outfielder and first baseman.
Stargell was born in Earlsboro, Oklahoma. Over his 21-year career with the Pirates, he batted .282, with 2,232 hits, 423 doubles, 475 home runs and 1511 runs batted in, helping his team capture six National League East division titles, two National League pennants and two World Series (1971, 1979).
In 1973 Stargell achieved the rare feat of simultaneously leading the league in both doubles and homers, with more than 40 of each: the last player to chalk up this 40-40 accomplishment was Hank Greenberg in 1940.
In 1979 Stargell earned the NLCS, World Series, and National League MVP (the latter being shared with Keith Hernandez), the only player to have won all three in a single year. He shared the Sports Illustrated magazine's "Sportsmen of the Year" award with NFL quarterback Terry Bradshaw, who also played at Three Rivers Stadium, for the Pittsburgh Steelers.
Beloved in Pittsburgh for his style of play and affable manner, Stargell was known throughout baseball for hitting monstrous home runs, including 7 of the 16 balls ever hit completely out of Forbes Field and several of the upper-tier home runs at its successor, Three Rivers Stadium. At one time, he held the record for the longest homer in nearly half of the National League parks.
After retirement, Stargell spent several years as a coach for the Atlanta Braves. In 1988, Stargell was inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame in his first year of eligibility. In 1999, he ranked Number 81 on The Sporting News' list of the 100 Greatest Baseball Players, and was nominated as a finalist for the Major League Baseball All-Century Team. He died in Wilmington, North Carolina at the age of 61, on the day a larger-than-life statue of him was unveiled at the Pirates' new stadium, PNC Park.