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What player today compares to Willie Stargell?

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  • What player today compares to Willie Stargell?

    I was wondering what baseball player playing today reminds you of Willie Stargell?'

    I have been reading several books about the 1960's - 70's Pittsburgh Pirates and find Stargell as a great all around player and leader for much of his career.

    Any thoughts?

  • #2
    Looking at pure numbers, using similarity scores, you're looking at:

    1. Willie McCovey (883) *
    2. Fred McGriff (876)
    3. Gary Sheffield (862)
    4. Ken Griffey (862)
    5. Andres Galarraga (862)

    Of course, none of those guys were the team leader that Stargell was...which leads me to Jeff Bagwell. He's #9 on the similarity scores list (844), and is an undisputed team leader.
    Visit my card site at Mike D's Baseball Card Page.

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    • #3
      OF/1B type player who was a slugger, a leader, and struck out a lot, but had and OBP and AVG that was nothing extraordinary.

      I think Fred McGriff comes pretty close that though he wasn't the leader that Stargell was nor struck out as much.

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      • #4
        I've always though Stargell was very similar to Manny Ramirez, but I'm pretty sure Stargell was better.

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        • #5
          We moved from Minneapolis to Pittsburgh in November of 1974. Until then my two younger sons (then ages 7 and 9) knew a lot about the Twins and the American League, but they knew almost nothing about the National League.

          But then we had dinner at the Greentree Marriott, and were seated in the dining room with Willie Stargell and a benefit dinner for Sickle Cell Anemia. My boys got to meet Stargell, got his autograph, and learned that my boy Charlie and Mr. Stargell shared the same birthday (March 6). Their high opinion of Stargell only improved when they got to see some NL games the following summer. Willlie replaced Harmon Killebrew as their favorite player.

          I don't know of anyone today that really compares with Stargell as a team leader. Naming him Team Captain was a stroke of genius. Veteran players like Dave Parker and Bill Madlock respected Stargell and were proud to wear the "stars" he presented for a good game. After the Pirates won the NL flag in 1979, I think Stargell could have been elected Mayor. His value came more from his leadership than from his hitting.
          Luke

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          • #6
            David Ortiz seems similar to me. Roughly the same build, left-handed power hitter, good-natured. Stargell was "Pops", Ortiz is "Big Papi"

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            • #7
              Originally posted by NationalPastime1980
              I was wondering what baseball player playing today reminds you of Willie Stargell?'
              The part of Willie Stargell I consider most important and most unique is his unchallanged leadership of the team and his emotional, morale-boosting way of inspiring his teammates on to victory. (Especially in that 1979 season.)

              I can't really think of many other players with these qualities. Perhaps Ty Cobb? Kirk Gibson? Kirby Puckett? Roger Clemens?
              Luke

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              • #8
                Except Ty Cobb's teams never really won anything. I doubt Ty Cobb the brash 20 year old was inspiring his teammates to victory 1907 or so when they did win games.

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by Ubiquitous
                  Except Ty Cobb's teams never really won anything.
                  Barry Bonds' "teams never won anything" either, and you probably think he's the greatest player ever. Neither did the Red Sox over Ted Williams' career, which traversed 4 decades.

                  What's your point?

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                  • #10
                    we are family

                    David Ortiz? Pops, Papi?

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by csh19792001
                      Barry Bonds' "teams never won anything" either, and you probably think he's the greatest player ever. Neither did the Red Sox over Ted Williams' career, which traversed 4 decades.

                      What's your point?

                      Well whats your point?

                      Appling said this, "morale-boosting way of inspiring his teammates on to victory" And then mentioned Cobb as a person who did this. Changing the subject to greatest ever and team record has nothing to do with what we are talking about.

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                      • #12
                        --Chris, I think the point was Cobb had nothing in common with Willie Stargell, except both could hit the tar out of the ball. Stargell was beloved by his teammates and helped his team pull together. The 1979 Pirates are largely considered to have been greater than the sum of its parts and Stargell won the MVP that year largely (mostly actually) based on his being considered the leader of that bunch
                        --Cobb was not beloved and it would be hard to argue that there was ever a season he inspired his teammates to greater heights (with anything other than his actual on field achievements). The same is also true of Williams and Bonds, so I don't know what your point was in bringing them up. All three were great players, amoung the elite handfull of all time, but all were/are less than great men. Stargell probably gets more credit than he should for his leadership (he didn't get the same cast very far the next year), but he was one of the great gentlemen of the game. Willie was liked and respected by virtually everyone.
                        Last edited by leecemark; 03-04-2006, 09:29 AM.

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                        • #13
                          I thought Cobb was a bit of a stretch but wondered if others thought he had "Stargell-like" Leadership qualities.

                          Ortiz seems to a good candidate -- certainly more so than Manny Ramirez (or the now-departed Johnny Damon?).
                          Last edited by Appling; 03-04-2006, 10:19 AM.
                          Luke

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Appling
                            Ortiz seems to a good candidate -- certainly more so than Manny Ramirez (or the now-departed Johnny Damon?).
                            My comment about Manny was with then just as players, not their personaility. I think as players they are remarkably similar.

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by 538280
                              My comment about Manny was with then just as players, not their personaility. I think as players they are remarkably similar.
                              That is an interesting connection. I actually think of Manny as being a much better hitter than Stargell. I'm not saying that you're necessarily wrong here, but I was wondering what you were basing that comparison on?

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