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Earlsboro: birthplace of a legend

Bob Colon Published: April 10, 2001
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EARLSBORO - Willie Stargell was born in Earlsboro in Pottawatomie County in 1940 but left at an early age and was raised in Oakland, Calif. Stargell died Monday in Wilmington, N.C., at the age of 61.

Willie went to live with an aunt in Florida after his parents were divorced. Later, he rejoined his mother in California.

Willie Stargell Avenue is located near Earlsboro High School, and the Baseball Hall of Famer still has several relatives living in the area.

Mae Lee Stargell, 80, is Willie's aunt and still lives in Earlsboro.

"He never attended school here," Mrs. Stargell said Monday. "He left here when he was 5 years old.

"I called him quite a few times, but he got in bad health and I didn't hear from him lately. His mother was living in California, then moved to Virginia. His father, William Stargell, lived in California and died some years ago."

Earlsboro used to have Willie Stargell Day in August or September, but the baseball great was never able to attend.

"We invited him every year," says Earlsboro school superintendent Paul McGhee. "It was a community get-together with softball games in the park. He was never able to come back because of his health. He sent us some T-shirts that are on display in the gym. When we do have outsiders that come in, they are surprised Willie was born here.

"People who live here know he was born here, and they are proud of that."

Archive ID: 846036

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