Maury Wills - Biography
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Maury Wills Biography

The memory of Maury Wills achieving his 104th stolen base for the Los Angeles Dodgers in 1962 evokes images of an athlete extraordinaire. This outstanding achievement is only one in a long list of accomplishments that give insight into a man who is both an important athlete and a true sports personality.

On September 23, 1962 Wills broke Ty Cobb's record of 97 stolen bases in one year. At the time, it was almost inconceivable that the century mark could be broken, but that's exactly what Wills did. By season's end with his record 104 stolen bases, Wills set a new major league record. Wills went on to lead the National League in stolen bases for six straight seasons, from 1960-1965, and has a lifetime total of 585 stolen bases. Wills was also a major force on the winning L.A. Dodger team for 14 years and helped lead the Dodgers to three World Series victories in 1959 (his first year wearing the Dodger cap), 1963, and 1965. In addition, he also guided the Dodgers to a National League pennant victory in 1966.

Wills' many athletic achievements tell the story of a true sportsman and team player, including:
  • National League Most Valuable Player (MVP) in 1962
  • Shortstop of the Year in 1970-71 Season, at age 39
  • Golden Glove award for Fielding in 1961-62 season
  • Honored as Outstanding Fielder among National League Shortstops
  • "SPORT" Magazine's man of the year
  • S. Rae Hickok Pro-Athlete Award
Wills' accomplishments are even more meaningful when we remember that it took him nearly 10 years in the minors to break through to the majors in 1959. In fact, after 13 years in the majors, at the senior age (in baseball terms) of 39, he was still batting an impressive 288.

Wills' sporting career did not end when he put away his bat in 1972, after 23 years in the pros. His goal was to become a manager in the Major League. Beginning with the winter, 1970-71 season, Wills began managing at Hermosilli, Mexico between seasons. It was at this time that he was voted the top pilot in the league. Wills realized his dream of becoming a Major League Manager when he became manager of the American League Seattle Mariners, during the 1980-81 seasons.

Wills' other post-Dodger highlights include six years as a baseball analyst for NBC Sports, " Major League Baseball Game of the Week, " and one year as an HBO network in-studio sports personality. He also has been a trainer for 15 different Major League baseball teams, teaching the art of base running and stealing and trained the Osaka, "Hanky Braves" in Japan for four years.

An articulate and informative personality, Wills has been sought after by some of the most respected and recognizable entertainment programs. He has appeared on Johnny Carson's "Tonight Show" four times and the "Merv Griffith Show" three times. He has also appeared on the Dinah Shore, Jimmy Dean, and Mike Douglas programs, as well as Hollywood Palace with Milton Berle. Many were surprised to discover Will's talents go beyond the world of baseball when he appeared on stage in Las Vegas with a banjo at the Sahara, Desert Inn and Union Plaza hotels.

Wills, today show no signs of slowing down. A seasoned golfer and fisherman, he likes to spend his leisure time on recreational activities. However, his busy schedule leaves him little time to relax. Wills is also busy working endorsements, but finds that his most satisfying role has been with the children he has worked with throughout the years. Under Governor Ronald Reagan, Wills was the Chairman of Athletics for Youth in the State of California. He has also worked as Assistant to Pittsburgh's Mayor Barr in Youth Relations; and was Assistant to the District Attorney of Clark County, Nevada for Youth programs. Currently he is involved with the Red Ribbon Program, a national organization dedicated to the prevention of drug abuse whose slogan is "Hugs not Drugs," and he is a Youth Drug Program Role Model for the Redondo Beach Crime Watch.

Wills is an individual who truly enjoys the benefits baseball has given him. Speaking about his accomplishments working with children, Wills remarks, "I am proud to be a role model to children and aspiring athletes. I feel it is my obligation to give back something to this community that has done so much for me. If I can accomplish this, than I feel I have truly realized my greatest victory."
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Did you know Maury

-was the first person to steal over 100 bases in a season, with 104 in 1962

-was the 1961 & 1962 winner of the Gold Glove Award

-was the 1960, 1961, 1962, 1963, 1964, & 1965 leader in stolen bases

-was the 1962 National League Most Valuable Player