1971 PIRATES: GAME 15: STARGELL TIES APRIL HOME RUN RECORD AS PIRATES DEFEAT BRAVES 7-4

Willie Stargell (Baseball Card) 1971 Topps #230

1971 Pittsburgh Pirates- Game 15: Atlanta Braves vs Pittsburgh Pirates: 8:05pm at Three Rivers Stadium. Steve Blass pitching for the Pirates vs Ron Reed for Atlanta.

  • Willie Stargell’s 10th home run of the season- in the Pirates 15th game of the season- which tied a record for home runs in April with Tony Perez and Frank Robinson, helped the Pirates jump out to an early lead and victory over the Braves 7-4.
  • Atlanta’s starting pitcher Ron Reed was knocked out of the game in the 4th inning. The Pirates held a 7-0 lead after 6 innings. Steve Blass ran into trouble in the 7th giving up 3 runs, Dave Giusti came in and finished the final two innings to get the save.
  • In addition to Stargell’s home run, Richie Hebner who had been slumping early in the season went 3-for 5 with 2 triples- driving in 3 runs. For the Braves- Henry Aaron had the night off. Earl Williams hit a two run home run.
  • The Pirates take 2 of 3 in the series against the Braves. They would play the Braves 12 times in 1971- already half of those games had been played with the Pirates and Braves each winning 3 games at this point.
  • Willie Stargell was 31 years old in 1971 and would end up having possibly his finest season. In the off-season he had dropped 20 pounds. Part of the reason he was able to lose the weight was- a trip with other players to hot and humid Vietnam, another reason he would walk four miles every day and worked harder in spring training. Stargell’s 10th home run with a week still to go in April tied him with Tony Perez and Frank Robinson for the most home runs ever hit in the month of April. It must have been an off-season for players in their early 30’s losing weight- the St. Louis Cardinals third baseman Joe Torre- who was moved from catcher to third base- went on a diet over the winter and dropped 20 pounds also and had a career year hitting .363. Stargell and Torre would battle it out in 1971 for the NL MVP Award.
  • Attendance for the game- a pathetic 4708. Time of Game-2 hours 6 minutes.
  • The San Francisco Giants visit Pittsburgh for a three game weekend series beginning on Friday night.