Fun Cards: “Baseball Immortals” Willie Stargell
In 1980, SSPC released a set of cards featuring baseball Hall of Famers called “Baseball Immortals.” The set was updated in 1984, 1986, and 1987 to include new inductees. These were some of my favorite non-mainstream cards when I began collecting, because how else was I going to get a card of Babe Ruth or Lou Gehrig? Not too many of these cards remain in my collection, but I would like to get my hands on a complete set someday. That is, as complete as it gets…through 1987.
Unfortunately, inductees from 1988 onward never became a part of the SSPC “Baseball Immortals” set. Let’s fix that, shall we?
I have created virtual cards or “fun cards” of all the inductees from 1988 through 1999 so far, with plans to eventually bring the set completely up to date. 2006 may be the biggest challenge in this, with 18 inductees that year alone. But we’ll tackle that year when we get there. Today, we will begin with the lone inductee from 1988, Pittsburgh’s Willie Stargell.
“Pops” was a first-ballot inductee with 82.4% of the BBWAA vote in 1988. The 1979 NL MVP slugged 475 home runs in his 21-year career. In addition to the NL MVP award, Stargell also took home World Series MVP honors in 1979 as the Bucs defeated the Baltimore Orioles in seven games.