Tagged: pnc park

Willie Stargell-A Life in Baseball


I have mentioned before how I find it odd  how certain great players get lost to the passage of time.  I don’t know if that is a product of playing for a smaller market team, playing in the shadow of a teammate or them being the type of player that does not seek the spotlight of the media.  Whatever the case may be, today’s book takes a look at one of those players that left a huge mark on the field but never seems to get the full recognition he deserves.

51jQXeyCsVL._SX331_BO1,204,203,200_

By Frank Garland-2013

Over the past year I have talked on here about two or three other Willie Stargell books.  I have come to the same conclusion with each one that he was an extremely underrated player that was finally getting his deserved props even if they were coming posthumously.

Frank Garland takes an approach to Willie Stargell that is in many ways like the other books.  Looking at his upbringing in California, through his time in the segregated minor leagues to his rise to stardom as member of the Pittsburgh Pirates that culminated in immortality in Cooperstown.  Garland’s research  is very thorough and paints a very detailed and complete picture of Willie Stargell the baseball player.

What is different about this book from the others out there is Garland takes his research beyond just the field.  He gets involved in the story line of Stargell’s life after baseball. This area is one place where the other biographies fail in comparison.  This book shows Willie’s love and involvement in the classical music scene after his retirement.  It also shows his involvement as a coach with the Atlanta Braves.  Many people forget that Willie was a coach in the Braves system and his tutelage left an undeniable mark on some of their up and coming big league prospects.  These are the same prospects that when they finally came to the big leagues won 15 or so division championships.  It shows the knowledge Stargell possessed and how he was able to pass it on to a new era of superstars.

This book is another example of giving Willie Stargell his accolades while presenting some different aspects of the player and the man.  If you have read other Stargell biographies you may find some of what is talked about repetitive, but in the end it does present some new information that was not included in other books.  The book does move along at a moderate pace and allows the reader to stay engaged with the story.

I have yet to figure out why Willie Stargell is relegated to the shadows.  Is it playing in Pittsburgh his entire career, is it the quiet strength he brought to his team or is it playing in the shadow of Robert Clemente?  I am not sure if it is all or any of these but they are reasonable questions to ask.  For this fan though, it is nice to see Willie Stargell remembered for being the superstar that he was both on and off the field.

You can get this book from the nice folks at McFarland

Willie Stargell- A Life in Baseball

Happy Reading

Gregg

 

 

 

The Pittsburgh Pirates Encyclopedia


I have said it before and like a broken record I will say it again, knowledge is power for baseball fans.  No matter who your team is, you need a strong knowledge of their history.  That way you can have intelligent conversations or even arguments with other fans about who was the best on your team.  Every fan needs some ammunition in these fights and this book may help you win your battles.

By: David Finoli and Bill Ranier-2015

By: David Finoli and Bill Ranier-2015

For Pirates fans this could prove to be invaluable.  It answers for you the who, what, when, where and why of the Pittsburgh Pirates.  It covers players, managers, general managers, the post season and some of the best era’s of Buccos history.  It is a great source of team statistics as well as covering the All-Stars that called Pittsburgh home.  The most controversial thing this book may produce is a list of the 10 best Pittsburgh Pirates.  This list alone can give Pirates fans something to chew on for hours, days even weeks.  The debate quite honestly may never come to an end, because with a history as rich as the Pirates, how can you only pick ten?

We live in the world where statistics are at our fingertips with the internet and certain baseball sites.  I find it very comforting, being a guy who likes books, to be able to grab a book off the shelf and find exactly what I need right in front of my eyes printed in black and white.  Even in the electronic world these team encyclopedia’s warrant a place on every fans bookshelf.  Plus you never know when the power may be out for a few hours and you will need to have some information at your fingertips.

Pirates fans will really enjoy this, because it gives them a wealth of information in an easy to find format.  It is both entertaining and educational and can help make anyone a stronger fan of the Pirates.

You can get this book from the nice folks at Sports Publishing

http://www.sportspubbooks.com/book/?GCOI=58261106919920

Happy Reading

Gregg