Willie Stargell became the 200th member of the Baseball Hall of Fame and just the 17th player elected in his first year of eligibility on July 31, 1988. Twenty-five Hall of Famers returned for the first induction since 1956 in which the Veterans Committee failed to induct anybody. Former New York Mets broadcaster Lindsey Nelson received the Ford C. Frick Award for broadcast excellence and the J.G. Taylor Spink Award for meritorious contributions to baseball writing went to then Los Angeles Times columnist Jim Murray.
WILLIE STARGELL: A first ballot Hall of Famer who received 82.4 percent of the ballots cast, Stargell played all 21 of his big league seasons with the Pittsburgh Pirates. A seven-time All-Star, Stargell twice led the Pirates to World Series titles, beating the Baltimore Orioles in both 1971 and 1979. “Pops” led the league in home runs twice and finished his career with 475 long balls, 1540 RBI and a .282 batting average. Stargell shared the 1979 National League MVP Award with Keith Hernandez, and at 39-years-old Stargell was the oldest player to win an MVP until Barry Bonds won at the age of 40.