Maury Wills
Baseball player and manager
Maury Wills
Maurice Morning Wills is a former Major League Baseball shortstop. The switch-hitter is best remembered for his years with the Los Angeles Dodgers, but he also played with the Pittsburgh Pirates and Montreal Expos (1969). He 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.
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A 92-Year Cubs Fan And A Lifetime Of Baseball Memories
Huffington Post - 4 months
My dad was the quintessential Cubs fan. He had a 92-year love affair with his Cubs. Years ago, when he was 80, as the Cubs made the playoffs, he reminisced. Now with the Cubs in the World Series, or as we Chicago fans say "Hell frozen over," it feels appropriate to share his story. The year was 1927 and Calvin Coolidge was President. Charles Lindberg flies his first solo flight from New York to Paris. The Model A car debuted and the mechanical cotton picker was invented. That was also the year my father's love affair with the Chicago Cubs began. "I was four years old," said Sheldon Sternberg, 80, and former Wilmette resident. "I sat on my father's lap for my first Cub's game and Hack Wilson autographed a baseball for me." When asked if he kept the autographed ball, Sternberg said, "I probably used it." Hack Wilson held the National League home run record of 56 home runs, a record that would not be broken for 68 years. O ...
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Huffington Post article
Vin Scully's Retirement Leaves Gaping Hole For Dodgers In SoCal
Huffington Post - 5 months
By: Leigh Steinberg ORIGINAL POST on The most universally loved, trusted, and respected person in Southern California is not a political, religious, or entertainment figure. The most dominant, unifying individual in this vast geographical and population region is Broadcaster Vin Scully, who is retiring next weekend after 67 years with the Dodgers. He is by far the chief asset of the Dodgers organization. The most personal link that fans in greater Los Angeles have with the beloved Dodgers, is their esteemed broadcaster. To maintain market dominance, the Dodgers organization will have to work zealously. Vin Scully is irreplaceable--if his replacement is a typical play by play broadcaster, Dodgers popularity and revenue will suffer. When the Dodgers left Brooklyn to move to Los Angeles in 1958, it was Vin Scully's voice which introduced the new team to Southern California. As a boy, I listened to him day after day, often falling asleep with my transistor radio on the ...
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Huffington Post article
The Dodgers and the Birth of the 1960s
Wall Street Journal - 9 months
When Maury Wills, the Dodgers’ black shortstop, began dating Doris Day, the team told him to back off. John Schulian reviews “The Last Innocents: The Collision of the Turbulent Sixties and the Los Angeles Dodgers” by Michael Leahy.
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Wall Street Journal article
Maury Wills has the law on his side in Hall of Fame bid
LATimes - about 1 year
Maury Wills walked into court, accompanying a young man charged with wire fraud. There was a good heart inside that young man, Wills was sure of it. Wills had gotten into plenty of trouble in his life, beating back the rugged demons of alcohol and drug addiction. He was a seventy-something man...
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LATimes article
A flood of memories of 'Stick in '62
San Francisco Chronicle - about 3 years
More accurately, the Giants broke it, by cheating, and I learned how to hate the team and the ballpark as a two-fer package deal. The brutal weather created an atmosphere in which Alvin Dark and Matty Schwab could cheat the Dodgers out of a pennant while the umpires were rendered powerless, their judgment numbed and nullified by the cold. Dodgers announcer Vin Scully gushed about the new ballpark, with its space-age "radiant heating" piped into every seat! (It never worked.) Players wore heavy-duty sweatshirts and turtlenecks, and the winds comically whipped their baggy flannel pants, making it clear that Candlestick was a different world, as uniquely San Francisco as a North Beach coffee house, daddy-o. The Dodgers featured baseball's most feared weapon, Maury Wills, on his way to stealing 104 bases and winning the NL MVP. The baseball gods took care of the Giants in the World Series, but the damage was done, to the Dodgers and my innocence. On my first trip to the Stick, in 197 ...
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San Francisco Chronicle article
Was Black Friday In Los Angeles Worth The Effort?
Huffington Post - about 3 years
Los Angeles on Friday was torn into two camps. One would bask in a Thanksgiving turkey glow. The other would head out into a cool drizzle to join the Black Friday shopping frenzy, as it was the shoppers who scored early holiday bargains. "Smokin' deal, 30 percent off -- definitely glad I'm here," said a beaming Brian Rodriguez, 33, of Northridge, co-owner of Apsir General Construction, pushing an arc welder bought from a Black Friday sale at Harbor Freight Tools in Woodland Hills, which typically caters to men. "Decent deal," said Lori Kaelker, 56, of Canoga Park, who runs Serenity Place cat rescue, gloating over a 60 percent discount on fleece blankets at Joann Fabrics & Crafts next door, which largely brings in women. "The cats will be happy." Across the region and the U.S., retailers hoping to cash in on the Christmas rush discounted goods for an event that has come to be known as Black Friday -- post-Thanksgiving sales that have crept backward well into Turkey Day Thursda ...
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Huffington Post article
Devra Maza: A Midsummer Classic Scrapbook: MLB Great All-Star Game Moments
Huffington Post Sports - over 3 years
Scrapbooks are made for memorable moments. Within their treasured confines, they hold the highlights of lifetimes and preserve favorite pictures of milestone achievements. Baseball's All-Star Game is the perfect stage to fill those pages. The heroics of beloved stars, rising above their best-of-the-best peers, has garnished legacies and, in some cases, changedthe game itself. It began with the very first All-Star Game in 1933 when baseball's biggest icon, Babe Ruth, fittingly swatted the first All-Star home run. The overwhelming popularity of that exhibition turned the midseason meeting of mammoths into a permanent showcase. Eighty years later, fans still thrill to see which superstar will steal the show. "This is the company picnic of the baseball gods," says Mark Langill. "Their status magnifies the moments we remember." As the Los Angeles Dodgers' team historian, memory is Langill's stock in trade. "There are no typical plays in an All-Star Game," says Langill. "Every a ...
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Huffington Post Sports article
Baseball's best of the almost Famers
San Francisco Chronicle - about 4 years
Baseball's best of the almost Famers Eligibility dates to 1947, when the color line was broken, and excludes players who are active, currently on the ballot or recent retirees not yet eligible for the ballot. First base: Hit 351 homers with high on-base percentages. [...] base: Bert Campaneris, leadoff man on Oakland's three straight championship teams, over Maury Wills and Dave Concepcion. [...] base: Mickey Lolich had 25 wins, 308 Ks, 376 innings and a 2.92 ERA in 1971 and didn't win the Cy Young Award.
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San Francisco Chronicle article
Leigh Steinberg: NFL is the New National Pastime
Huffington Post Sports - over 4 years
When I was a child growing up in the 1950s, Major League Baseball was the national pastime. Baseball dominated television and radio sports coverage and was the number one emphasis of sports pages. When the Dodgers won the World Series in 1959, the games were played in the day and a television was wheeled into my elementary school classroom so we could watch every minute. It was possible to drive down our Los Angeles street on a Saturday afternoon and hear continuous radio coverage of Dodger games with Vin Scully's voice booming from every transistor radios in each front yard. When the Angels came two years later we were obsessed with Bo Belinsky, Dean Chance and Leon "Daddy Wags" Wagner. Most boys life centered around baseball. When we weren't playing it, we were collecting and trading baseball cards and inserting them into the spokes of our bikes to make prodigious amounts of noise. We grew up dreaming that we could pitch like Sandy Koufax, hit home runs like Willie Mays o ...
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Huffington Post Sports article
Area baseball beat: Soto plays in Arcata, but keeps parents close
The Sacramento Bee - over 4 years
When Will Soto steps into the batter's box for the Humboldt Crabs, his first thought isn't about what pitch might be coming. He's thinking about his mother, Mary. Will Soto, left, and Jared Deacon play summer baseball for the Humboldt Crabs and spent the spring playing together for Sacramento State. Both are former Elk Grove High School standouts.
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The Sacramento Bee article
Dodgers Report Strong Ticket Sales for Bobblehead Giveaways
Venice Patch - almost 5 years
A crowd of more than 50,000, the largest since opening day, is expected Saturday night at Dodger Stadium when the Los Angeles Dodgers begin their 10-game Dodger Stadium Greats Bobblehead Series. Ticket packages covering all 10 games of the series, which is part of the team's celebration of the 50th anniversary of Dodger Stadium, "are literally flying off the shelves," the Dodgers' senior director of ticket sales, David Siegel, told City News Service. The first 50,000 fans entering Dodger Stadium for Saturday's game against the Washington Nationals will receive a bobblehead depicting Hall of Fame pitcher Don Drysdale and Maury Wills, the 1962 National League Most Valuable Player. The series also includes the first bobbleheads depicting the team's legendary announcer Vin Scully and Hall of Fame pitcher Sandy Koufax and the first "quad bobble" of the team's record-setting infield of the 1970s -- Steve Garvey, Davey Lopes, Bill Russell and Ron Cey, Siegel said. "This is probabl ...
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Venice Patch article
Philadelphia Phillies storyline: cursed limbs
isports web - almost 5 years
Jimmy Rollins of the Philadelphia Phillies has his hands full, keeping his team within striking distance for that 6th consecutive divisional flag.  Can they hover around .500 until the cavalry arrives in May and June?  Can they score 3 runs during a complete 9, when their stud only surrenders 2 to their opponent? TAL'S HANDY CAPS   CAP-SIZE HINDSIGHT:   Penthouse Occupancy for the 5-1 outcome:  2 The Crystal Champagne Toast is a salute to Doc Halladay. The Doctor Needed Some Assistance Last Night He toiled during his control-challenging first two frames, and the 7th was a mental mountain. However, the 2nd-inning play by Freddy Galvis gave the Doctor a chance to win. The Warehouse again highlighted the leather of Galvis in the 2nd, which limited the damage to 1 tally. The Glass House had some of its walls busted with the missed opportunity by Mike Stutes, who is walking toward the back door. He is the closest to Triple-A Lehigh Valley after Cliff Lee returns.  Ri ...
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isports web article
Dodgers Edge Pirates, 2-1, in Home Opener
Brentwood Patch - almost 5 years
Andre Ethier hit an eight-inning tie-breaking home run on his 30th birthday as the Los Angeles Dodgers began their season-long celebration of Dodger Stadium's 50th anniversary with a 2-1 victory over the Pittsburgh Pirates in their home opener today, exactly 50 years after their first game there. The Dodgers took a 1-0 lead in the first as leadoff hitter Dee Gordon singled, stole second, moved to third on Mark Ellis' ground out and scored on Matt Kemp's ground out. It was Kemp's ninth consecutive game with a run batted in, dating back to last season, setting a Los Angeles Dodger team record, breaking the mark he had shared with four other players, and tying the Dodger franchise record initially set by Augie Galan in 1944 and tied by Hall of Famer Roy Campanella in 1955. The RBI has been an official statistic since 1920. Pittsburgh tied the score in the seventh when Alex Presley led off with a single, advanced to second on Andrew McCutchen's single, moved to third on Casey M ...
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Brentwood Patch article
Fifty years ago, Maury Wills made crime pay off for the Dodgers
LATimes - almost 5 years
In 1962, Wills, a 5-10 shortstop, stole 104 bases, breaking a 47-year-old baseball record, leading the Dodgers to within a hair's breadth of the World Series, even changing how the game was played. In the good old days, say 50 years ago, the Dodgers' heroes were actual players, not equity fund executives and magical former basketball stars.
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LATimes article
Baseball: Maury Wills to appear at Banning fundraiser
LATimes - almost 5 years
Wilmington Banning is holding a comedy show fundraiser Friday at 7:30 p.m. at Banning's Landing, and former Dodger great <a class="fplink fp-598144" href="/Maury+Wills+1">Maury Wills</a> is scheduled to be the special guest. Wills stole 104 bases in 1962 for the Dodgers. The event is for the Banning baseball program. -- Eric Sondheimer  
Article Link:
LATimes article
Did Topps turn down a deal on Maury Wills because he was such a bad prospect?
LATimes - over 5 years
BASEBALL URBAN LEGEND: <a class="fplink fp-598144" href="/maury+wills">Maury Wills</a> was such a longshot to make it in the Major Leagues that Topps turned down the opportunity to sign him to a $5 baseball card contract. <a class="fplink fp-598144" href="/maury+wills">Maury Wills</a> is a true Los Angeles Dodgers legend. The Dodgers won their first championship in Los Angeles in Wills' first season and went on to win two more titles during his first tenure with the team (1959-1966), with Wills being the team captain from 1963-1966. Wills made the All Star Game in five separate seasons and received the very first All Star Game Most Valuable Player Award ever in 1962! That same season, Wills beat out Willie Mays to win the National League Most Valuable Player Award. In 1962, Wills also won his second Gold Glove at shortstop and set a new Modern Era (post-1900) Major League record for the most stolen bases in a single season with 104 (the first player ever to steal over 100 bases i ...
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LATimes article
Despite Ejection, Dodgers' Kershaw Wins 19th - TheAtlantaBaseballShow (subscription)
Google News - over 5 years
The starting lineup that day consisted of Maury Wills, Jim Gilliam, Wally Moon, Duke Snider, Johnny Roseboro, Ron Fairly, Daryl Spencer, Willie Davis and Johnny Podres. The Dodgers lost that game, 6-3. Another highlight comes April 15, which marks the
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Google News article
1963 Fleer Baseball - The Cardboard Connection
Google News - over 5 years
Eight players are Hall of Famers, but perhaps the most important addition to the set was Maury Wills, who wasn&#39;t included in the Topps set as a result of his being snubbed by them as a minor league player. He had been the National League&#39;s MVP in 1962
Article Link:
Google News article
Learn about memorable moments in the evolution of Maury Wills
  • 2014
    Age 81
    In 2014, Wills appeared for the first time as a candidate on the National Baseball Hall of Fame's Golden Era Committee election ballot for possible Hall of Fame consideration in 2015 which required 12 votes. Wills missed getting elected by 3 votes. 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.
    More Details Hide Details 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.
  • 2009
    Age 76
    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.
    More Details Hide Details The field was completely renovated and serves as Cardozo's home diamond. 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.
  • 1989
    Age 56
    Wills was well known as an abuser of alcohol and cocaine until getting sober in 1989; in December 1983, Wills was arrested for cocaine possession after his former girlfriend, Judy Aldrich, had reported her car had been stolen.
    More Details Hide Details 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. 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. 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.
  • 1980
    Age 47
    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.
    More Details Hide Details 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. 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 KVOX-AM "740 The Fan" with play-by-play announcer Scott Miller. 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.
    Finally, in 1980, the Seattle Mariners fired Darrell Johnson and gave Wills the reins.
    More Details Hide Details 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.
  • 1970
    Age 37
    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.
    More Details Hide Details 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.
  • 1969
    Age 36
    He was traded to Montreal and then back to the Dodgers in 1969, ending his career with the Dodgers club in 1972.
    More Details Hide Details After retiring, Wills spent time as a baseball analyst at NBC from 1973 through 1977.
  • 1967
    Age 34
    Despite his age, Wills batted .302 in 1967.
    More Details Hide Details The following year, at age 36, he stole 52 bases.
  • 1966
    Age 33
    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.
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  • 1965
    Age 32
    In 1965, Wills set out on a pace to break his own record.
    More Details Hide Details 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 65 season with 94 stolen bases which continues to be the second highest in National League history.
  • 1963
    Age 30
    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.
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  • 1961
    Age 28
    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).
    More Details Hide Details 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. 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. The fans at Dodger Stadium would chant, "Go! Go! Go, Maury, Go!" any time he got on base. 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.
  • 1960
    Age 27
    In Will's 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.
    More Details Hide Details In, 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. 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 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.
  • 1959
    Age 26
    Wills began his major league career in 1959 and played in 83 games for the Los Angeles Dodgers.
    More Details Hide Details
  • 1950
    Age 17
    On May 8, 1950, in a game against Phelps, Wills threw a one-hitter and struck out seventeen.
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  • 1932
    Born on October 2, 1932.
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Original Authors of this text are noted here.
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