Originally published by DodgerBlue.com
The Los Angeles Dodgers announced Maury Wills will become the fourth member of the “Legends of Dodger Baseball,” joining Steve Garvey, Don Newcombe and Fernando Valenzuela, who each were part of the inaugural class in 2019.
The Legends of Dodger Baseball is in recognition of franchise greats and their impact both on and off the field. Inductees receive a plaque honoring their achievements while playing for the Dodgers, which also goes on permanent display at Dodger Stadium.
Wills will have his Dodgers career celebrated during a special ceremony prior to first pitch against the Cincinnati Reds. Although he will not be in attendance, the first 40,000 ticketed fans will receive a Maury Wills Legends of Dodger Baseball bobblehead.
Wills played 14 seasons from 1959-72, of which 12 were with the Dodgers. He hit a lifetime .281 and finished with 586 career stolen bases. The 1962 NL MVP was also a seven-time All-Star and two-time Gold Glove Award winner at shortstop.
Wills revolutionized the sport in 1962 when he stole 104 bases, becoming the first player in modern MLB history to reach triple-digits. He remains the Dodgers all-time franchise leader with 490 career stolen bases.
Among Dodgers franchise leaders, Wills additionally ranks 10th in total at-bats (6,156), runs scored (876) and hits (1,732).
After his playing career, Wills became the Seattle Mariners manager for the 1980-81 seasons and then began a long stint as an instructor with the Dodgers. That entailed regular appearances in camp during Spring Training for bunting and baserunning drills, and providing coaching during the regular season.
Wills also has made several community appearances for the Dodgers.
Wills fell short for Hall of Fame induction
The Dodgers celebrating Wills comes months after he did not garner enough votes for induction into the National Baseball Hall of Fame via the Golden Days Era Committee. The Dodgers did have Gil Hodges enshrined, with he and Wills part of 10-person ballot comprised of candidates whose primary contributions were from 1950-69.
Candidates needed to receive votes on 75% of the ballots cast by the 16-member committee in order to be inducted. Hodges garnered 12 votes, which was exactly the threshold to qualify. Wills was named among players who received three or fewer votes.
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