Dodger Legend Maury Wills Passes Away at 89

The Dodger family has lost some legends this year, first with the most outstanding sports broadcaster ever to pick up a microphone in Vin Scully, and now franchise legend Maury Wills.

The Dodgers announced that Wills passed away Monday night at the age of 89.

Wills had many different roles with the Dodgers. First off, as a player, when he became the first player in the modern era to steal 100 bases, something that probably won’t happen in the future of the game. Wills won National League MVP in 1962, was a seven-time All-Star, and was on three World Series-winning Dodger teams.

He was a dangerous threat on the basepaths for opposing pitchers and catchers. He led the National League in stolen bases for six straight seasons from 1960-1965. He also won two gold glove awards.

Wills remained involved in the game, taking jobs as an announcer, coach, and advisory roles. He also was a musician in the offseason and played live in several shows.

Wills was a mentor to current Dodgers manager Dave Roberts and was vital in arguably the most significant moment of Roberts playing career when he stole second base against Mariano Rivera in Game Four of the 2004 ALCS.

Wills remained involved with the Dodgers organization and would make occasional appearances from time to time. Baseball lost a true speedster.

The Dodgers are likely to hold a moment of silence for Wills today. The Dodgers play a doubleheader Tuesday against the Arizona Diamondbacks in a rare five-game series. Los Angeles won their 102nd game of the season Monday night 5-2 over the Diamondbacks.

Right-hander Michael Grove will start the first game, Ryan Pepiot was also added to the roster, and the plan is for Pepiot and Grove to take most of the innings.

Left-hander Tyler Anderson was activated off the paternity list and will start the second game. Arizona will start right-hander Zach Davies, and Drey Jameson.

The first pitch for the opening game is at 12:10 p.m., and the second game is scheduled to start at 7:10 p.m.

7 thoughts on “Dodger Legend Maury Wills Passes Away at 89

  1. Maury was definitely a player from a different era. I doubt he makes this current club.

    I watched both games of that double header. Not impressed. Dodgers looked sluggish, and not in a good way.

    1. Pitching was DOMINANT in the ’60s. Maury was an incredible spark plug for the team. He was the NL MVP in 1962, His speed changed baseball. Those years were pitching dominant so his ability to get on base and steal with Gilliam taking pitches and moving him over to third once he stole were sometimes the only run in a game. They were forced to lower the mound in 69 as 7 teams averaged 230 in 68. Yastrzemski won the batting title in the AL at 301. When you put Maury’s stats in context with a league averaging 237 you can see how valuable he was. Seven starters had ERA’s under 2. Many games were 1-0, 2-1, etc. So Wills generating runs was the difference between winning and losing a game. Wills numbers in the context of the dominant pitching and the Dodgers winning is the reason I say he deserved to be in the HOF. I know many disagree but listening to my transistor radio in 62 in my grandmother’s kitchen Maury was the man. Especially with Vin verbally describing him at first and everyone knowing he would steal. The excitement was palpable. One of my all-time favorite Dodgers and memories.

      1. I agree with everything you just said Tmax. I too was a Wills fan. But a lifetime OPS of .661, 9 times in the .600s, 3 times in the .500s or less just doesn’t cut it in today’s game, and most certainly not on this Dodgers club.

      2. Yes, but if we just consider most of his singles to be doubles, that dramatically increases his OPS numbers.

      3. Wills was hitting in the high mound era! Yastrzemski won the title at 301! What would these swing hard in case you hit it idiots have hit in that era? I am guessing 100 or less! You have to look at his numbers in the pitch-dominant era he came from! He hit close to 300 avg when the league average was in the low 200s! It’s not apples and apples…Look at his numbers in the context of his era not against today’s numbers. The pull-everything guys would have been easy outs with guys like Gibson, Martinez, Koufax and Drysdale, etc pitching. He won the MVP in 62 he was a prime reason they won the WS. Any player that wins the MVP has to get your attention.

      4. Again, different era.

        But for perspective, in that MVP year, Wills had an OPS of .720 and a 6.2 WAR. Willie Mays hit 49 home runs, had an OPS of .999 and 10.5 WAR, Frank Robinson OPS’d over 1.000 and had 8.7 WAR. Nobody was more valuable to the Dodgers, except maybe Drysdale who was 25-9. Maybe NL hits leader Tommy Davis. And here I am arguing against one of my all time favorite Dodgers. I’ll quit now.

      5. Perhaps the stats do not reflect his impact. Stat heads do not give credit to base stealing. Wills broke Cobb’s record and led the Dodgers to a WS win..

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