The Best Pittsburgh Pirates Seasons That Didn’t Make All-Star Games

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PITTSBURGH, PA – OCTOBER 13: Willie Stargell #8 of the Pittsburgh Pirates looks on from the field during game 4 of the 1979 World Series against the Baltimore Orioles at Three Rivers Stadium on October 13, 1979 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. The Orioles defeated the Pirates 9-6. (Photo by George Gojkovich/Getty Images)
PITTSBURGH, PA – OCTOBER 13: Willie Stargell #8 of the Pittsburgh Pirates looks on from the field during game 4 of the 1979 World Series against the Baltimore Orioles at Three Rivers Stadium on October 13, 1979 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. The Orioles defeated the Pirates 9-6. (Photo by George Gojkovich/Getty Images) /

Willie Stargell, 1979

One year after Parker won the NL MVP but failed to be named a NL All-Star, the Pittsburgh Pirates had another MVP. Although, Willie Stargell was not as deserving as Parker was a year prior, he also did not go to the All-Star Game that year. Being an All-Star was an honor Stargell deserved in ’79.

Stargell started off the year batting .306/.359/.617 with 18 home runs in his first 234 plate appearances of the season. He wasn’t nearly as good in the second half, batting .254/.346/.488 with 14 long balls in his last 246 plate appearances, but he still was a good batter.

All told, Stargell had a .281/.352/.552 line with 32 home runs and 19 doubles in 480 plate appearances. He also had a 139 OPS+ and 137 wRC+. At first base, Stargell had -4 total zone runs above average.

Oddly enough, despite Stargell not being even top 10 in wRC+, OPS, and ranking 74th in fWAR, he tied with Keith Hernandez in voting. A guy with a much higher wRC+ (156), fWAR (7.4), and OPS (.930). That said, what Stargell meant to the Pirate clubhouse and how big of a role be played in the team winning the World Series that season can not be overstated.

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