The Dodgers announced Tuesday that legendary infielder Maury Wills peacefully died in his home at the age of 89. Wills died Monday night, with no cause of death confirmed.
Wills became a staple of the Dodgers after a memorable 12-year run with LA.
The team released a statement on Wills’ passing:
Wills played 14 seasons in the majors and walked away from the game with three World Series championships (’59, ’63, ’65), one National League MVP title from 1962 and over 550 stolen bases to his name.
In his MVP season, Wills tallied 104 stolen bases (117 attempts).
Wills was also the second-ever African-American coach in MLB history, dedicating two seasons to running the Seattle Mariners (1980-81).
Ahead of Tuesday night’s matchup against the Arizona Diamondbacks, Dodgers manager Dave Roberts tearfully remembered Wills and the impact that he had while Roberts was a member of the Dodgers in the early aughts.
“I remember Maury Wills on the backfield in Vero Beach,” Roberts told the media Tuesday afternoon.
“He said, ‘DR, one of these days you’re going to have to steal an important base when everyone in the ballpark knows you’re gonna steal, but you’ve got to steal that base and you can’t be afraid to steal that base.’
“So, just kind of trotting out on to the field that night, I was thinking about him. So he was on one side telling me, ‘This was your opportunity’. And the other side of my brain is saying, ‘You’re going to get thrown out, don’t get thrown out.’ Fortunately Maury’s voice won out in my head.”
The Dodgers will wear commemorative patches honoring Wills for the remainder of their season.
Rest in Peace
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