By Matt PopchockBy Joe Starkey

PITTSBURGH (93-7 THE FAN) — Former Pirates right fielder Dave Parker, one of the integral members of their “We Are Family” 1979 world championship team, recently disclosed to the Tribune-Review he has been battling Parkinson’s Disease for a year and a half.

The sobering revelation should not come as a complete surprise; Parker told the newspaper there is a history of the debilitating illness in his family.

Fortunately, according to Trib columnist and 93.7 The Fan afternoon drive co-host Joe Starkey, Parker has generally had success fighting his condition since discovering a chronic twitch in his right hand and getting formally diagnosed Feb. 2012.

Formerly nicknamed “The Cobra,” Parker, 62, debuted with the Bucs in July 1973, playing in Pittsburgh through 1983. He won National League batting titles in 1977 and 1978–in which he also earned league MVP honors–and won three Gold Gloves with the Pirates.

Parker hit .345 with three doubles and four RBI in the ’79 Fall Classic. He was a lifetime .290 hitter with 339 career homers, retiring as a member of the Blue Jays after tours of duty with the hometown Cincinnati Reds, as well as the A’s, Brewers, and Angels.

Click here for a telephone interview Starkey recently granted ESPN to discuss his recent column on the seven-time MLB All-Star.

Click here to read Starkey’s full column.

“Starkey, Miller and Mueller” can be heard weekdays 2:00-6:00 P.M. on The Fan, your flagship home for Pirates baseball.


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