David Gene Parker (June 9, 1951-) hit a home run as a member of the Charleston Charlies (WV), a Pirates AAA affiliate, that was recovered in Columbus, Ohio after landing on a coal car of a passing train en route to Ohio. The Pittsburgh Pirates took Parker in the 14th round of the 1970 MLB Draft as the potential replacement to Hall of Fame right fielder Roberto Clemente. Sadly, his rise to the position came at the cost of Clemente’s life as he was killed in a plane crash on December 31, 1972 delivering aid to Nicaraguan earthquake victims. It was once said that “someone must have a fondness for right field in Pittsburgh” as Parker not only replaced the beloved and skillful Clemente with excellent power at the plate, but also possessed and nearly equal powerful arm. In 1977, Dave led the National League in hits (215), doubles (44) and batting average (.338) as he earned his first of seven All-Star Game selections and also won his first of three NL Gold Gloves. His greatest season came in 1978 as he again won the batting title with a .334 BA, but also led the NL in slugging percentage (.585), on-base percentage (979) and total bases (340) winning the National League’s Most Valuable Player Award. He was the first Pirate to win the MVP since Clemente in 1966. The Pirates rewarded the slugger by signing him to the first $1,000,000 average contract in MLB history. Parker played right field and later as a designated hitter for 19 seasons with the Pirates (1973-1983), the Cincinnati Reds (1984-1987), the Oakland Athletics (1988-1989), the Milwaukee Brewers (1990), the California Angels (1991) and the Toronto Blue Jays (1991). Parker appeared in three World Series (1797, 1988, 1989) in his career winning the 1979 title with Pittsburgh over the Baltimore Orioles and with Oakland over the San Francisco Giants in the “Earthquake Series.” In 1979, Parker reportedly actually “knocked the cover off the ball” blasting a pitch to the outfield, bursting the seam, making the relay to the infield a difficult one. Injury, weight and drug problems took their toll on the “Cobra”, as he was called, and he retired following the 1991 season. Dave Parker ended his career with 2,712 hits including 526 doubles and 339 home runs, 1,272 runs, 154 stolen bases, 1,493 RBI and a .290 career batting average. He also posted a .966 career fielding percentage in right field with 137 assists.