Maury Wills, whose base-stealing prowess helped the Los Angeles Dodgers win three World Series titles, passed away at his family home in Sedona, Arizona on Monday. He was 89.
Wills was part of the Dodgers’ World Series-winning teams in 1959, 1963, and 1965. He went on to play for the Pittsburgh Pirates and the first-time Montreal Expos. He returned to the Dodgers for a second spell between 1969 and ’72, after which he retired.
“The Los Angeles Dodgers are saddened by the passing of Dodger legend Maury Wills. Our thoughts are with Wills’ family, teammates and friends.” – Los Angeles Dodgers
A true icon and legend in every sense, it’s a loss too difficult for many Dodgers fans to process. The entire fanbase has come forward to pay their tributes in unison.
Wills rose to fame for his outstanding thievery on the basepaths. He stole an astonishing 104 bases in 1962, smashing Ty Cobb’s record of 96. Wills was named the National League MVP that year. He led the league in stolen bases for six consecutive seasons.
Wills also has five All-Star call-ups in his long list of accolades, along with two Gold Gloves at shortstop. Despite retiring five decades ago, Wills still holds the Dodgers’ franchise record with 490 stolen bases.
During his 14-year career, Wills batted .281 with 2,134 hits and 586 stolen bases in 1,942 games.
Dave Roberts deeply affected by the passing of Maury Wills
Dodgers manager Dave Roberts, who considers Maury Wills a big influence on his life, has been left devastated by the passing of his hero. Roberts wears No. 30 because of Wills. He was described as “very emotional” ahead of the Dodgers’ clash against the Diamondbacks.
“Dave Roberts wears No. 30 because of Maury Wills. He was very emotional during pregame… ‘Maury was very impactful to me, personally, professionally. He’s going to be missed,’ Roberts said. ‘He was a friend, a father, a mentor, all of the above for me. This one is a tough one.'” – Eric Stephen
The Dodgers remain firm favorites to win the World Series this year. With the loss of the legendary Vin Scully last month, and now Wills, the Dodgers have extra motivation to win the holy grail. If successful, it would be a fitting tribute by the franchise to two of their favorite sons.
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