MAJOR LEAGUE BASEBALL ALL-STARS
First Day of Issue
At the entrance of the Pirate's stadium is a bigger-than-life statue of Willie Stargell. It's huge, and many will agree it isn't big enough. Stargell played the game with strength and great focus, bulldozing ahead. In the end his nickname wasn't Steamroller, or Pit Bull, or The Tank. They affectionately called him "Pops." Able to press forward to win, while reaching back to care for his teammates like sons, Willie Stargell, some will say, was the most-loved Pittsburgh Pirate in the history of the ballclub.
Sold as a set of four covers, along with
Larry Doby, Joe DiMaggio, and Ted Williams
SET OF FOUR
Released to collectors October 10, 2015, along with
Review the other three stamps in the set
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TOTAL ISSUE SIZE
First Day of Issue
July 21, 2012
Pittsburgh, PA 15290
Sometimes life is just hard. Many a successful athlete, following the depression era, and more so it seems for the children of African –American descent, have had their share of difficulties. Willie Stargell would fall into both of those categories. He was born in 1940, but wouldn’t meet his father for almost two decades. It wasn’t that his father didn’t know he had a son, rather, that’s how many years it took for him to decide to have a relationship with his son. Willie insisted later, “I accepted my father as he was. I didn’t offer judgment on what he had done and eventually I grew to love him for what he was.” Willie’s mother remarried when he was six, but Willie was sent to live with his aunt in Florida until his mother and her new husband could get settled, which apparently took six long years to do. Willie’s aunt was harsh, to say the least, and he remembered that spankings became a permanent part of his late afternoon routine. Despite his painful childhood, Stargell grew into a strong, athletic teenager and took up baseball on the neighborhood fields and around the projects. “White boys from richer families were given other alternatives such as the Boy Scouts, family vacations, and field trips. Baseball was all we had,” said Willie. It was during high school in Alameda, California that Willie was picked up by Pittsburgh Pirates’ scout Bob Zuk, and was signed for $1,500 in August 1958. It wasn’t without its troubles though. Willie suffered from prejudicial treatment and had to endure the shame and shunning of those years. “People treated me like a dog,” Willie confided. But he knew he couldn’t go back to the projects, as they were filled with prostitutes, pimps, and muggers. Baseball was his avenue out of the ghetto...
Read the article in its entirety in the October 2015 Bevil newsletter, which accompanies the cover.