Hall of Famer's widow causes stir with memorabilia auction

PITTSBURGH (AP) The family of baseball Hall of Famer Willie Stargell said it is hurt and angry that his widow is auctioning his memorabilia, including his World Series ring and his National League MVP award.

The auction, being conducted by SCP Auctions Inc., began Wednesday, the Post-Gazette reported ((http://bit.ly/2rQ4NqV). The items were selected by his second wife, Margaret Weller-Stargell.

Dolores Stargell, who was married to the late Pittsburgh late Pirates first baseman from 1962 to 1983, said she, her children and grandchildren weren't told about the auction. She said they were ''completely blindsided'' by the auction and that her anger was ''released'' upon hearing of it.

Her daughter is handicapped and her son, a Gulf War veteran, suffers from post-traumatic, said Stargell. The family is living in poverty, she added.

In a letter on Facebook she helped them write, the children said, ''Dad would want the accomplishments of his lifetime achievements to be on display and enjoyed by all, as opposed to sitting in someone's basement collecting dust.''

Weller-Stargell said the auction is legal.

''Willie made the decision years before his death that he wanted these items left to me because I know that he trusted me to do what was in the best interests of both a game that he loved, the Pirates organization and its fans that he honored and respected,'' she said in a statement.

Weller-Stargell plans to donate some of the proceeds to charity. The recipients are to include a dialysis unit at a Wilmington, North Carolina, hospital and the kidney disease foundation that was started in her late husband's name. She will receive the rest of the money from the auction.

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