Dodgers great Maury Wills, 1962 NL MVP, dies at 89

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Los Angeles Dodgers great Maury Wills, NL MVP in 1962, dies at age 89

, who intimidated pitchers with his base-stealing prowess as a shortstop for the Los Angeles Dodgers on three World Series championship teams, has died. He was 89.

Wills died Monday night at home in Sedona, Arizona, the team said Tuesday after being informed by family members. No cause of death was given.

Wills played on World Series title teams in 1959, 1963 and 1965 during his first eight seasons with the Dodgers. He also played for Pittsburgh and Montreal before returning to the Dodgers from 1969 to 1972, when he retired.

During his 14-year career, Wills batted .281 with 2,134 hits and 586 stolen bases in 1,942 games.

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 will wear a patch in memory of Wills for the rest of this season.

“Maury Wills was one of the most exciting Dodgers of all time,” team president and CEO Stan Kasten said. “He changed baseball with his baserunning and made the stolen base an important part of the game. He was very instrumental in the success of the Dodgers with three world championships.”

Manager Dave Roberts, an outfielder during his 10-year MLB career, was moved to tears as he recalled Wills’ impact on him.

“He was a friend, a father, a mentor — all of the above for me, so this is a tough one for me,” he said. “He just kind of showed me to appreciate my craft, showed me how to be a big leaguer. He just loved to teach. I think a lot of where I get my excitement, my passion, my love for players is from Maury.”

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