Los Angeles Dodger alum and MLB stolen base champ Maury Wills has passed away, it was announced Tuesday. He was 89 years old.
Wills was born in 1932, in that other Washington – D.C. – but found his way to the Northwest soon enough. He signed with the Brooklyn Dodgers in 1950, playing in the minor leagues for 9 years. By the time he would become a Dodger, the team would move to Los Angeles, and Wills would have perfected his baseball skills with a spot on the Spokane Indians team.
I had given up my dream of going to be with the Dodgers … I just wanted to be the best I could be as a minor leaguer. -Maury Wills
Maury Wills/Spokane Indians Stats
- Maury Wills was with the Spokane Indians for 2 seasons (1958, 1959).
- Wills scored the very first run at Indians Ballpark.
- Wills hit .253 in ’58, and .313 in ’59.
- In his ’59 season, Wills stole 25 bases in 48 games.
- Wills is a permanent member of of Avista Stadium‘s “Rim of Honor.”
Maury Wills performed so well with the Spokane Indians, then a farm team for the Los Angeles Dodgers, that he was promoted to the big leagues, where he continued to impress.
Base stealing for me is another sport all by itself. It’s a game within a game. I’m the mouse and the cats are trying to trap me. -Maury Wills
Maury Wills/Los Angeles Dodgers Stats
- Maury Wills played with the Los Angeles Dodgers for 12 seasons.
- Wills was a short stop and switch hitter.
- He stole 104 bases in 1962, breaking the previous record by Ty Cobb.
- He led the National League in stolen bases from 1960 to 1965.
- Wills career total stolen in bases is 586.
- Currently Wills remains 20th on the list of stolen-base record holders.
- Wills was the National League MVP in ’62.
- He was the first MLB All-Star Game “Most Valuable Player.”
- Wills was an All-Star for five seasons and seven All-Star Games.
Maury Wills/Seattle Mariners Stats
- Maury Wills managed the Seattle Mariners in 1980 and 1981.
- The M’s struggled in ’81 and Wills was let go.
Wills was a broadcaster for awhile, and a talented musician. But he’ll always be remembered as a Dodger, an Indian, and all those stolen bases.
I heard all the black people buzzing about this man in Brooklyn named Jackie Robinson. I asked who he was and they told me. Right then, I said, ‘I want to play for the Dodgers someday.’ That was my childhood dream.
RIP Maury Wills.
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