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Bucs bring back Stargell Stars on caps

Bucs bring back Stargell Stars on caps

Bucs bring back Stargell Stars on caps play video for Bucs bring back Stargell Stars on caps

ST. LOUIS -- As sharp-eyed television viewers quickly noticed on Tuesday night, the Stargell Stars made a comeback on the Pirates' caps during the National League Wild Card Game against the Reds at PNC Park.

It was not a completely faithful revival of Willie "Pops" Stargell's incentive of awarding little gold stars to Pittsburgh teammates for exceptional performances.

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For instance, even after hitting two home runs in the 6-2 victory over Cincinnati, Russell Martin still only had the one star with which he started out. And everyone in a Pirates uniform had them, even those on the bench or not on the active roster.

The inspiration behind the new Stargell Stars -- black five-pointed stars with a gold "P" in the middle -- was bench coach Jeff Banister, the longest tenured man in a Bucs uniform.

"I was privileged to know Willie, and he taught me what it meant to be a Pirate," Banister said. "He had so much influence on what this organization was -- and what it is again becoming. I felt it was very appropriate for Willie to be a part of this.

"I'd had the thought all year. I was just waiting for the right time. It was time."

Tom Singer is a reporter for MLB.com and writes an MLBlog Change for a Nickel. He can also be found on Twitter @Tom_Singer. Joey Nowak is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter at @joeynowak. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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