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1966 ASG: Wills hits a walk-off single in the 10th
1966 ASG: Wills hits a walk-off single in the 10th
Published: 2016/07/06
Channel: MLB
Wills on being egomaniac,
Wills on being egomaniac, 'Uncle Maury'
Published: 2013/10/15
Channel: MLB
ARI@LAD: Scully on Maury Wills breaking Cobb
ARI@LAD: Scully on Maury Wills breaking Cobb's record
Published: 2015/09/24
Channel: MLB
Billy Staples "Before the Glory" - Maury Wills - Ty Cobb & Sandy Koufax (4/4)
Billy Staples "Before the Glory" - Maury Wills - Ty Cobb & Sandy Koufax (4/4)
Published: 2015/04/07
Channel: Before the Glory
04/05/68 Keith Morris interviews Maury Wills
04/05/68 Keith Morris interviews Maury Wills
Published: 2016/10/31
Channel: nutty.archives
Billy Staples "Kids with a Dream" Baseball Heroes - Maury Wills
Billy Staples "Kids with a Dream" Baseball Heroes - Maury Wills
Published: 2015/04/12
Channel: Before the Glory
Home of Maury Wills
Home of Maury Wills
Published: 2014/07/23
Channel: Risa Myers
Maury Wills.flv
Maury Wills.flv
Published: 2012/06/26
Channel: David Spada
Maury Wills First Pitch at Dodgers Game 2 NLDS 10-4-14
Maury Wills First Pitch at Dodgers Game 2 NLDS 10-4-14
Published: 2014/10/05
Channel: StadiumBound
Maury Wills Begins a New Chapter
Maury Wills Begins a New Chapter
Published: 2014/08/27
Channel: Risa Myers
Interview with former Dodger Maury Wills on Around the Diamond #5
Interview with former Dodger Maury Wills on Around the Diamond #5
Published: 2014/05/02
Channel: pgctvonline
1981 - Maury Wills Telephone
1981 - Maury Wills Telephone
Published: 2017/05/19
Channel: Seattle Mariners
Maury Wills with The Cannons at Dodger Stadium
Maury Wills with The Cannons at Dodger Stadium
Published: 2012/04/11
Channel: AM 570 LA Sports
1962 All Star Game - JFK throws first pitch Stan Musial Willie Mays  PublicDomainFootage.com
1962 All Star Game - JFK throws first pitch Stan Musial Willie Mays PublicDomainFootage.com
Published: 2013/01/20
Channel: PublicDomainFootage
Maury Wills (1995) Remembers
Maury Wills (1995) Remembers
Published: 2009/04/18
Channel: brampete
Hollywood Palace 3-06 Milton Berle (host), Sonny & Cher, Bill Dana, Maury Willis, Abbe Lane
Hollywood Palace 3-06 Milton Berle (host), Sonny & Cher, Bill Dana, Maury Willis, Abbe Lane
Published: 2013/09/27
Channel: Hollywood Palace
Dodgers legend Maury Wills instructs at spring training
Dodgers legend Maury Wills instructs at spring training
Published: 2016/03/25
Channel: Los Angeles Times
Maury Wills - Somebody
Maury Wills - Somebody's Keeping Score
Published: 2010/07/24
Channel: boyjohn
Maury Wills Signs Autographs for The SI KING 10-27-12
Maury Wills Signs Autographs for The SI KING 10-27-12
Published: 2012/10/28
Channel: SI KING
Out and About: Maury Wills Bobblehead Night 2015
Out and About: Maury Wills Bobblehead Night 2015
Published: 2015/07/07
Channel: True Blue Bobbleheads
Maury Wills Is A Hall Of Famer Los Angeles Dodgers
Maury Wills Is A Hall Of Famer Los Angeles Dodgers
Published: 2013/03/12
Channel: CourtsideTweets
Maury Wills works with the Slammers
Maury Wills works with the Slammers
Published: 2011/05/17
Channel: jolietslammers
MAURY WILLS BASEBALL FREEBEE
MAURY WILLS BASEBALL FREEBEE
Published: 2015/11/17
Channel: Alberto Vallin
DC PEOPLE: Maury Wills
DC PEOPLE: Maury Wills
Published: 2013/05/23
Channel: OCTDC
The Ballad of Maury Wills
The Ballad of Maury Wills
Published: 2012/01/15
Channel: bcwalk
#11: Meeting Maury Wills
#11: Meeting Maury Wills
Published: 2015/01/09
Channel: Radicards
Tommy Davis and Maury Wills - Dodgers Old-Timers!
Tommy Davis and Maury Wills - Dodgers Old-Timers!
Published: 2013/06/04
Channel: The True Blue Crew
Maury Wills - Crawdad Hole - 1962 Los Angeles Dodgers - R&B/Soul/Jazz mix
Maury Wills - Crawdad Hole - 1962 Los Angeles Dodgers - R&B/Soul/Jazz mix
Published: 2014/04/11
Channel: Wrigley Records
Maury Wills - Bye-Bye Blues - 1962 Los Angeles Dodger - R&B/Soul/Jazz mix
Maury Wills - Bye-Bye Blues - 1962 Los Angeles Dodger - R&B/Soul/Jazz mix
Published: 2014/04/11
Channel: Wrigley Records
1960
1960's Los Angeles Dodgers legend MAURY WILLS sing
Published: 2013/03/27
Channel: Historic Films Stock Footage Archive
Legendary Maury Wills Taking Pics with Fans - Dodger Stadium 10-14-13 NLCS Game 3
Legendary Maury Wills Taking Pics with Fans - Dodger Stadium 10-14-13 NLCS Game 3
Published: 2013/12/07
Channel: StadiumBound
RedHawks Maury Wills Museum Video
RedHawks Maury Wills Museum Video
Published: 2014/07/28
Channel: Fargo-Moorhead RedHawks
Maury Wills, Willie Davis & Stubby Kaye - Dodger Stadium
Maury Wills, Willie Davis & Stubby Kaye - Dodger Stadium
Published: 2010/08/22
Channel: boyjohn
Maury Wills Dodger Great Past Time Base Stealer
Maury Wills Dodger Great Past Time Base Stealer
Published: 2015/03/09
Channel: Vernon Armstead
Maury Wills bunting session February 26
Maury Wills bunting session February 26
Published: 2012/02/26
Channel: Eric Stephen
SlammersBlog- Opening Night Interview with Maury Wills
SlammersBlog- Opening Night Interview with Maury Wills
Published: 2011/05/22
Channel: SlammersBlog
Maury Wills Interview With John Pielli
Maury Wills Interview With John Pielli
Published: 2016/01/21
Channel: Baseball Essential
Maury Wills 2015 Dodgers Bobblehead Review
Maury Wills 2015 Dodgers Bobblehead Review
Published: 2015/07/09
Channel: True Blue Bobbleheads
LA Dodger Great Maury Wills Supports Joe Buscaino
LA Dodger Great Maury Wills Supports Joe Buscaino
Published: 2011/09/23
Channel: jb1mh3232
Maury Wills signing autographs
Maury Wills signing autographs
Published: 2012/07/23
Channel: Edgar P.
Billy Staples "Before the Glory" - Maury Wills - Bobby Bragan (3/4)
Billy Staples "Before the Glory" - Maury Wills - Bobby Bragan (3/4)
Published: 2015/04/02
Channel: Before the Glory
Maury Wills FM Redhawks Baseball Museum 06/27/17
Maury Wills FM Redhawks Baseball Museum 06/27/17
Published: 2017/06/28
Channel: Rusty Hartmann
Maury Wills Museum
Maury Wills Museum
Published: 2009/01/08
Channel: Visit Fargo-Moorhead
1965 National League All Star Starting lineup
1965 National League All Star Starting lineup
Published: 2016/03/07
Channel: DickAllen15.com
Maury Wills Takes The Challenge
Maury Wills Takes The Challenge
Published: 2016/07/04
Channel: Erbie Phillips
Maury Wills Signing Autographs
Maury Wills Signing Autographs
Published: 2011/08/15
Channel: Edgar P.
Dodgers Mike and Sam Maury Wills HD 720p
Dodgers Mike and Sam Maury Wills HD 720p
Published: 2015/08/11
Channel: television101net
Billy Staples "Before the Glory" - Maury Wills - The Kennedys  (2/4)
Billy Staples "Before the Glory" - Maury Wills - The Kennedys (2/4)
Published: 2015/04/02
Channel: Before the Glory
Maury Wills Jersey
Maury Wills Jersey
Published: 2015/08/16
Channel: Abbott Otto
Redondo Van & Storage Video Testimonial Maury Wills
Redondo Van & Storage Video Testimonial Maury Wills
Published: 2017/04/24
Channel: Redondo Van & Storage since 1919
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WIKIPEDIA ARTICLE

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Maury Wills
Maury Wills 2009 (edit).jpg
Wills in 2009.
Shortstop / Manager
Born: (1932-10-02) October 2, 1932 (age 85)
Washington, D.C.
Batted: Switch Threw: Right
MLB debut
June 6, 1959, for the Los Angeles Dodgers
Last MLB appearance
October 4, 1972, for the Los Angeles Dodgers
MLB statistics
Batting average .281
Hits 2,134
Home runs 20
Runs batted in 458
Stolen bases 586
Managerial record 26–56
Winning % .317
Teams

As player

As manager

Career highlights and awards

Maurice Morning Wills (born October 2, 1932) is an American former professional baseball player and manager. He played in Major League Baseball (MLB) primarily for the Los Angeles Dodgers from 1959 through 1966 and the latter part of 1969 through 1972 as a shortstop and switch-hitter; he played for the Pittsburgh Pirates in 1967 and 1968, and the Montreal Expos the first part of 1969. Wills was an essential component of the Dodgers' championship teams in the mid-1960s, and is credited for reviving the stolen base as part of baseball strategy.[1]

Wills was an All-Star for five seasons and seven All-Star Games[2], and was the first MLB All-Star Game Most Valuable Player in 1962. He also was the National League Most Valuable Player (MVP) in 1962, and a Gold Glove winner in 1961 and 1962. In a fourteen-year career, Wills batted .281 with 20 home runs, 458 runs batted in, 2,134 hits, 1,067 runs, 177 doubles, 71 triples, and 586 stolen bases in 1,942 games. Since 2009, Wills is a member of the Los Angeles Dodgers organization serving as a representative of the Dodgers Legend Bureau.

In 2014, Wills appeared for the first time as a candidate on the National Baseball Hall of Fame's Golden Era Committee election ballot[3] for possible Hall of Fame consideration in 2015 which required 12 votes. Wills missed getting elected by 3 votes.[4] All the other candidates on the ballot also missed being elected. The Committee meets and votes on ten selected candidates from the 1947 to 1972 era every three years.[5]

Early life[edit]

Wills was born in Washington, D.C. Maurice, or Sonny as he was called at Cardozo Senior High School in Washington, first showed up as an All City Pitcher in the local Washington Daily News. He played on Sal Hall's undefeated '48 Cardozo football team that never had any points scored against them. In the '49–'50 school year, three-sport standout Sonny Wills, was named an All City football quarterback, basketball player, and baseball pitcher. On May 8, 1950, in a game against Phelps, Wills threw a one-hitter and struck out seventeen.[citation needed]

MLB career[edit]

Los Angeles Dodgers[edit]

Wills began his major league career in 1959 and played in 83 games for the Los Angeles Dodgers. In Wills' first-full season in 1960, he hit .295 and led the league with 50 stolen bases, being the first National League player to steal 50 bases since Max Carey stole 51 in 1923. In 1962, Wills stole 104 bases to set a new MLB stolen base record, breaking the old modern era mark of 96, set by Ty Cobb in 1915.[6] Wills also stole more bases than all of the other teams that year, the highest total being the Washington Senators' 99. Wills success in base stealing that year led to another remarkable statistic, he was caught stealing just 13 times all season. He hit .299 for the season, led the NL with 10 triples and 179 singles, and was selected the NL Most Valuable Player over Willie Mays (Mays hit .304 with 49 home runs and 141 runs batten in) by seven points. Not until Barry Larkin in 1995 would another shortstop win a National League Most Valuable Player Award. Late in that record-setting 1962 season, San Francisco Giants Manager Alvin Dark ordered grounds crews to water down the base paths, turning them into mud to hinder Wills' base-stealing attempts. Wills played a full 162 game schedule, plus all three games of the best of three regular season playoff series with the Giants, giving him a total of 165 games played, a MLB record that still stands for most games played in a single season. Will's 104 steals remained a Major League record for switch-hitters until 1985, when Vince Coleman eclipsed the mark with 110.

While playing for the Dodgers, Wills was a Gold Glove Award winner in 1961 and 1962, and was named a NL All-Star five times (5 seasons); selected seven times for the All-Star Game (2 games were played in 1961 and 1962).

Base stealing[edit]

Although Chicago White Sox shortstop Luis Aparicio had been stealing 50+ bases in the American League for several years prior to Wills' insurgence, Wills brought new prominence to the tactic.[citation needed] Perhaps this was due to greater media exposure in Los Angeles, or to the Dodgers' greater success, or to their extreme reliance on a low-scoring strategy that emphasized pitching, defense, and Wills' speed to compensate for their lack of productive hitters. Wills was a significant distraction to the pitcher even if he didn't try to steal, because he was a constant threat to do so.[citation needed] The fans at Dodger Stadium would chant, "Go! Go! Go, Maury, Go!" any time he got on base.[citation needed] While not the fastest runner in the major leagues, Wills accelerated with remarkable speed. He also studied pitchers relentlessly, watching their pick-off moves even when not on base. And when driven back to the bag, his fierce competitiveness made him determined to steal. Once when on first base against New York Mets pitcher Roger Craig, Wills drew twelve consecutive throws from Craig to the Mets first baseman. On Craig's next pitch to the plate, Wills stole second.

In the wake of his record-breaking season, Wills' stolen base totals dropped precipitously. Though he continued to frighten pitchers once on base, he stole only 40 bases in 1963 and 53 bases in 1964. In 1965, Wills set out on a pace to break his own record. By the time of the All-Star Game in July, he was 19 games ahead of his 1962 pace. However, Wills at age 32, began to slow in the second half. The punishment of sliding led him to bandage his legs before every game, and he ended the 1965 season with 94 stolen bases which was the second highest in National League history at that time.

Following the 1966 season, in which he dropped to 38 stolen bases and was caught stealing 24 times, the Dodgers traded Wills to the Pittsburgh Pirates for Bob Bailey and Gene Michael.[7] Despite his age, Wills batted .302 in 1967. The following year, at age 36, he stole 52 bases. He was traded to Montreal and then back to the Dodgers in 1969, ending his career with the Dodgers club in 1972.

Managing and retirement[edit]

After retiring, Wills spent time as a baseball analyst at NBC from 1973 through 1977. He also managed in the Mexican Pacific League—a winter league—for four seasons, during which time he led the Naranjeros de Hermosillo to the 1970–71 season league championship.[8] Wills let it be known he felt qualified to pilot a big-league club. In his book, How To Steal A Pennant, Wills claimed he could take any last-place club and make them champions within four years. The San Francisco Giants allegedly offered him a one-year deal, but Wills turned them down. Finally, in 1980, the Seattle Mariners fired Darrell Johnson and gave Wills the reins.

Wills' tenure was an unmitigated disaster. Baseball writer Rob Neyer, in his Big Book of Baseball Blunders criticized Wills for "the variety and frequency of [his] mistakes" as manager, calling them "unparalleled." In a short interview appearing in the June 5, 2006 issue of Newsweek, Neyer said, "It wasn't just that Wills couldn't do the in-game stuff. Wills's inability to communicate with his players really sets him apart. He said he was going to make his second baseman, Julio Cruz, his permanent shortstop. Twenty-four hours later he was back at second base. As far as a guy who put in some real time (as a manager), I don't think there's been anyone close to Wills."

According to the Seattle Post-Intelligencer's Steve Rudman, Wills made a number of gaffes. He called for a relief pitcher although there was nobody warming up in the bullpen, held up another game for 10 minutes while looking for a pinch-hitter and even left a spring-training game in the sixth inning to fly to California.

The most celebrated incident of Wills' tenure as manager occurred on April 25, 1981. He ordered the Mariners' grounds crew to make the batter's boxes one foot longer than regulation. The extra foot was in the direction of the mound. However, Oakland Athletics manager Billy Martin noticed something was amiss and asked plate umpire Bill Kunkel to investigate. Under questioning from Kunkel, the Mariners' head groundskeeper admitted Wills had ordered the change. Wills claimed he was trying to help his players stay in the box. However, Martin suspected that given the large number of breaking-ball pitchers on the A's staff, Wills wanted to give his players an advantage. The American League suspended Wills for two games and fined him $500. American League umpiring supervisor Dick Butler likened Wills' actions to setting the bases 88 feet apart instead of 90 feet.[9]

After leading Seattle to a 20-38 mark to end the 1980 season, new owner George Argyros fired Wills on May 6, 1981 with the M's deep in last place at 6-18. This gave him a career record of 26-56 for a winning percentage of .317, one of the worst ever for a non-interim manager. Years later, Wills admitted he probably should have gotten some seasoning as a minor-league manager prior to being hired in Seattle.

However, the aforementioned Julio Cruz, himself an accomplished base stealer, credited Wills for teaching him how to steal second base against a left-handed pitcher.

The Maury Wills Museum is in Fargo, North Dakota at Newman Outdoor Field, home of the Fargo-Moorhead RedHawks. Wills was a coach on the team from 1996 to 1997 and currently serves as a radio color commentator for the RedHawks on KNFL "740 The Fan" with play-by-play announcer Jack Michaels.

Personal life[edit]

In his autobiography, On the Run: The Never Dull and Often Shocking Life of Maury Wills, Wills claimed to have had a love affair with actress Doris Day. Day denied this in her autobiography Doris Day: Her Own Story, where she said it was probably advanced by the Dodgers organization for publicity purposes.

Wills was well known as an abuser of alcohol and cocaine until getting sober in 1989.[10] In December 1983, Wills was arrested for cocaine possession after his former girlfriend, Judy Aldrich, had reported her car had been stolen. During a search of the car, police found a vial allegedly containing .06 grams of cocaine and a water pipe. The charge was dismissed three months later on the grounds of insufficient evidence.[11]

The Dodgers organization paid for a drug treatment program, but Wills walked out and continued to use drugs until he began a relationship with Angela George, who encouraged him to begin a vitamin therapy program. The two later married.[12]

In his New Historical Baseball Abstract, Bill James is highly critical of Wills as a person, but still ranked him as the #19 shortstop of all time.

Maury Wills is the father of former major leaguer Bump Wills, who played for the Texas Rangers and Chicago Cubs for six seasons. The two had a falling out following the publication of Maury's autobiography in 1991, involving a salacious anecdote, but now occasionally speak.[13]

In 2009, Wills was honored by the city of Washington, D.C. and Cardozo Senior High School with the naming of the former Banneker Recreation Field in his honor.[14] The field was completely renovated and serves as Cardozo's home diamond.

MLB awards, achievements, records[edit]

Awards[edit]

  • MLB All-Star Game MVP (1962)
  • NL MVP: 1962
  • NL Gold Glove (1961, 1962)

Achievements[edit]

  • NL All-Star[15] (1961–63, 1965–66)
  • NL leader in At Bats (1961, 1962)
  • NL leader in Triples (1962)
  • NL leader in Stolen Bases (1960–65)
  • NL leader in Singles (1961–62, 1965, 1967)
  • NL leader in Sacrifice Hits (1961)
  • Los Angeles Dodgers Career Stolen Base leader (490)

Records[edit]

  • Most Games Played in a single season (165 in 1962)
  • 7th player to hit home runs from each side of the plate in a game (1962)
  • Stole 104 bases in 1962, still an MLB-record among switch-hitters
  • Los Angeles Dodgers Career Stolen Bases (490)
  • Los Angeles Dodgers Single-Season at Bats (695 in 1962)

Other awards[edit]

The stolen base "asterisk"[edit]

While Wills had broken Cobb's single season stolen base record in 1962, the National League had increased its number of games played per team that year from 154 to 162. Wills' 97th stolen base had occurred after his team had played its 154th game; as a result, Commissioner Ford Frick ruled that Wills' 104-steal season and Cobb's 96-steal season of 1915 were separate records, just as he had the year before (the American League had also increased its number of games played per team to 162) after Roger Maris had broken Babe Ruth's single season home run record. Both stolen base records would be broken in 1974 by Lou Brock's 118 steals; Brock had broken Cobb's stolen base record by stealing his 97th base before his St. Louis Cardinals had completed their 154th game.[citation needed]

See also[edit]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ "They Were There 1962: Maury Wills". Thisgreatgame.com. 2010. Retrieved August 6, 2011. 
  2. ^ MLB held two All-Star Games from 1959 through 1962.
  3. ^ "Golden Era Committee Candidates Announced". baseballhall.org. Retrieved May 23, 2017. 
  4. ^ "Golden Era Committee Announces Results". National Baseball Hall of Fame. December 8, 2014. Retrieved June 16, 2017. 
  5. ^ Bloom, Barry M. (December 8, 2014). "No one elected to Hall of Fame by Golden Era Committee". MLB.com. Retrieved June 16, 2017. 
  6. ^ "Maury Wills Baseball's Greatest Base Stealer". The Washington Afro American. September 25, 1962. 
  7. ^ "The Morning Record - Google News Archive Search". news.google.com. Retrieved May 23, 2017. 
  8. ^ "Naranjeros de Hermosillo". Retrieved 31 January 2014. 
  9. ^ Zumsteg, Derek (2007). The Cheater's Guide to Baseball. Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. p. 265. ISBN 9780618551132. 
  10. ^ Streeter, Kurt (August 18, 2008). "Getting Away Clean". Retrieved May 23, 2017 – via LA Times. 
  11. ^ "Lewiston Morning Tribune - Google News Archive Search". news.google.com. Retrieved May 23, 2017. 
  12. ^ "The Windsor Star - Google News Archive Search". news.google.com. Retrieved May 23, 2017. 
  13. ^ http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/vault/article/magazine/MAG1104369/index.htm
  14. ^ "Maury Wills Field to be dedicated in Washington, D.C.". Los Angeles Dodgers. Retrieved May 23, 2017. 
  15. ^ MLB held two All-Star Games from 1959 through 1962.

External links[edit]

Preceded by
Ty Cobb
Major League Baseball single season stolen base record holder
1962–1974
Succeeded by
Lou Brock

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