Maura Wills, who created panic among pitchers with his ability to steal grounds as a player Los Angeles Dodgers The winner of three World Series championships has passed away at the age of 89.
Wills died Monday night at his residence in Sedona, Arizona, the team said on Tuesday after being notified by the family. The cause of death was not disclosed.
The player was part of the teams that established themselves in the World Series in 1959, 1963 and 1965 during his first eight seasons with the Dodgers. He also played for Pittsburgh and Montreal before returning to the Dodgers from 1969 to 1972, when he retired.
During a career spanning 14 years, Wills batted .281 in 1,942 games with 2,134 hits and 586 stolen bases.
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He broke Ty Cobb’s record for the 97th steal of the 1962 season on 23 September. In that campaign, he became the first player to commit more than 100 robberies.
The Dodgers honored Wills with a moment of silence before Game 1 of the doubleheader against the Arizona Diamondbacks. He also performed some of his best plays on the video screen of the stadium.
Remembering Maura Wills. pic.twitter.com/XIMk4JzR4t
— Los Angeles Dodgers (@dodgers) September 20, 2022
All members of the club will wear a patch in memory of Wills for the rest of the season.
“a great friend”
During his 10-year playing career at the Majors, manager Dave Roberts, an outfielder, wept as he recalled the impact Wills had on him.
“He was a friend, a father, a mentor, all of this to me, so it’s very hard,” he said. “He showed me how to appreciate my talent, he showed me how to be a major league player. He loved teaching. I think my enthusiasm, my passion, my love for the players is something like which I am indebted to Maurya.”
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In 1962, Wills was named the National League’s Most Valuable Player and led the National League in stolen bases from 1960 to 1965. He was also a seven-time All-Star and won the Gold Glove in 1961 and 1962.
After retiring with the Dodgers in 1972, Wills worked as an analyst for NBC for five years. He also coached winter baseball with the Pacific League team, winning a championship in the 1970–71 season with Naranjaros de Hermosillo.
Wills had an unsuccessful stint as manager of the Seattle Mariners between 1980 and 1981, which included 26 wins and 56 losses.