Maury Wills Passed

Wednesday, September 21, 2022
Copyrighted by Sarah Morris, 2022

Monday night Maurice “Maury” Morning Wills passed away at 89 in Arizona. He was a Dodger legend and monitor to Dodger manager Dave Roberts, who wears #30 the same number as Wills.

From the age of fifteen, Wills knew he wanted to be a Major Leaguer. After growing up in Washington, DC, Wills signed a Minor League Contract with the Brooklyn Dodgers. Since Pee Wee Reese blocked Wills at shortstop, Wills spent eight years in the Dodger Minor League system.

In 1959, Wills finally got his chance with the Los Angeles Dodgers, and he transformed the game for the next forty years until the Moneyball concepts took over the strategy of baseball. Although Wills was not the fastest player on the team, he always was the best base stealer. Vin Scully called Wills, “the mouse that roared.”

In 1962, Wills stole 104 bases, and he won the National League MVP. During the 1960s, Wills played crucial roles in the Dodger world championships.

After his playing career, Wills was both a color analyst and manager of the Seattle Mariners. During the 1980s, Wills abused cocaine and alcohol. The Dodger organization helped Wills get clean, and then, during spring training, Wills taught the Dodgers how to bunt and base stealing.

Wills was a huge mentor of Roberts. In 2004, during the ALCS, Roberts stole the most important base in the Boston Red Sox in history, and it led to the first Red Sox world championship in 86 years. Until this year, Wills played a crucial role in the Dodger organization.

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