He spent 12 of his 14 big-league seasons with Los Angeles, and was a member of three World Series championship teams.
The Dodgers announced icon Maury Wills, who spent 12 of 14 seasons with Los Angeles and won three World Series titles, died on Tuesday. He was 89 years old.
Wills established himself as one of the best players of his generation and one of the best base-stealers of all time. He stole 104 bases in 1962, setting a new modern record for a single season. Wills was named the National League’s Most Valuable Player that year, leading the majors in games played (165) while batting .299 with 130 runs scored.
Wills helped the Dodgers to World Series championships in 1959, ’63 and ’65. His best postseason performance came in ’65, when he went 11-for-30 (.367) as Los Angeles defeated the Twins in seven games. He led the NL in stolen bases six times and won two Gold Gloves at shortstop before retiring after the ’72 season.
Wills eventually transitioned to coaching and became the manager of the Mariners from 1980 to ’81. He later joined the Dodgers as a spring training instructor, where he developed a strong bond with current Los Angeles manager Dave Roberts. Wills mentored Roberts in becoming a better base runner and helped him make the team’s roster in 2002. Roberts now wears jersey No. 30 to honor Wills.
“Maury Wills once told me that there will be a point in my career when everyone in the ballpark will know that I have to steal a base, and I will steal that base,” Roberts said, per Mark Langill of Dodgers Insider. “When I got out there, I knew that was what Maury Wills was talking about.”