May 28, 1984 12:00 PM

by Willie Stargell and Tom Bird

“I’ve always been a slave to my heart. I’ve never doubted its ways, and look what it’s done for me. I am emotionally and spiritually fulfilled. I have lived my dream.” Pittsburgh Pirate hero Willie Stargell has always been an unusual, emotional man. In this autobiography, he speaks of his encounters with racism in the minor leagues. He is also forthright enough to chastise ex-teammate Dave Parker for becoming “a chronic complainer.” But the book suffers from a tendency to ramble. Sometimes, too, Stargell’s memory can be faulty. He describes a freak play that cost the Pirates a pivotal game against the Mets as happening in 1969. He hit two out of three. The play and team are right, but the year is wrong (it happened in 1973). For a ballplayer a .667 average is great, but not for a writer. Still, Stargell comes across on paper as he appeared on the field: a man of dignity and decency. (Harper & Row, $14.95)

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