LA City Council members remember Dodger great Maury Wills

LOS ANGELES — Several City Council members called to adjourn Friday’s meeting in honor of legendary Dodgers shortstop, Maury Wills, who died this week at the age of 89.

Wills, a base-stealing master who played on three World Series championship teams, died Monday night at his home in Sedona, Arizona. There was no immediate word on the cause of death.

Councilman Gil Cedillo said he grew up huddling around a small black-and-white television with his family, watching the Dodgers and Wills.

“The excitement of him getting off base and getting chased back, it inspired the city,” Cedillo said. “It created the allure of what the Dodgers are.”

Cedillo said he met Wills and called him a “real gentleman.”

“You were so impressed that he was Maury Wills and such a humble and modest man,” Cedillo said.

Wills, who retired in 1972, still holds the Dodgers record of 490 stolen bases. By the time he retired — following stints with Pittsburgh and Montreal and again with the Dodgers — he amassed 586 stolen bases. He stole a then-record 104 bases in the 1962 season, when he won National League and All-Star Game MVP honors. He led the National League in steals every year from 1960-65 — his first six years in the majors.

Wills played more than 1,900 games in his career and finished with a batting average of .281.

Councilman Joe Buscaino, a former LAPD officer, said he knew Wills well. Wills supported the Los Angeles Police Memorial Foundation and “loved our police officers,” according to Buscaino.

“We would meet for lunch, for dinner, and had this amazing relationship that I so treasured,” Buscaino said.

In a 2004 interview with MLB.com, Wills said he idolized Jackie Robinson as a kid and dreamed of playing with the Dodgers.

He wound up winning World Series with the team in 1959, 1963 …read more

Source:: Los Angeles Daily News

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