- Published: Sep. 21, 2022, 10:15 a.m.
Maury Wills swiped 97 bases for the Los Angeles Dodgers in 1962, the same season he was named National League Most Valuable Player. (AP/Paul Sancya, file)
LOS ANGELES (AP) — Maury Wills, who helped the Los Angeles Dodgers win three World Series titles with his base-stealing prowess, has died.
The team says Wills died Monday night at home in Sedona, Arizona.
Wills played on World Series title teams in 1959, ‘63 and ‘65 during his first eight seasons with the Dodgers. He also played for Pittsburgh and Montreal before returning to the Dodgers. During his 14-year career, Wills batted .281 with 2,134 hits and 586 stolen bases.
Wills broke Ty Cobb’s single-season record for stolen bases with his 97th swipe on Sept. 23, 1962. That season he became the first player to steal more than 100 bases.
The Dodgers honored Wills with a moment of silence before the opener of their doubleheader against the Arizona Diamondbacks on Tuesday and showed his career highlights on the stadium video boards. The team will wear a patch in memory of Wills for the rest of this season.
He was the National League Most Valuable Player in 1962, the same year he was MVP of the All-Star Game played in his hometown of Washington, D.C.
After retiring with the Dodgers in 1972, Wills worked an analyst at NBC for five years. He also managed winter ball in the Mexican Pacific League, winning a league championship in 1970-71.
Wills struggled with addictions to alcohol and cocaine until getting sober in 1989. He credited Dodgers pitching great Don Newcombe, who overcame his own alcohol problems, with helping him. Newcombe died in 2019.
He is survived by wife Carla, and children Barry, Micki, Bump, Anita, Susan Quam and Wendi Jo Wills. Bump was a former major league second baseman who played for Texas and the Chicago Cubs.