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Maury Wills Speaker Fees

Maury Wills Agent




Retired Shortstop, Los Angeles Dodgers

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$2,501 - $5,000

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Maury Wills Booking Agency Profile

Former Baseball great, Maury Wills, was born Maurice Morning Wills on October 2, 1932 in Washington, D.C. Maury Wills is a former Major League Baseball shortstop and switch-hitting batter who played prominently with the Los Angeles Dodgers (1959-66, 1969-72), and also with the Pittsburgh Pirates (1967-68) and Montreal Expos (1969). He was an essential component of the Dodgers' championship teams in the mid-1960s, and deserves much credit for reviving the stolen base as part of baseball strategy.

Wills stole his way into the record books in 1962 and in the process reminded a stagnating baseball establishment that there could be more to offense than waiting for your 250-lb slugger to knock one out of the park. In his 14-seasons career, Wills batted .281 with 20 home runs, 458 runs batted in, 2134 hits, 1067 runs, 177 doubles, 71 triples, and 586 stolen bases in 1942 games.

Wills's 1962 season found him at the apex of his base-stealing ability. His new major league record of 104 stolen bases shattered Ty Cobb's old mark of 96 not only in the final total, but in execution: Wills was caught stealing only 13 times in 1962, but Cobb was caught 38 times in 1915. Also, Cobb set his record in 156 games, and Wills broke it by one in the same span. In 1962, Wills also led the NL with 10 triples and reached career highs with 130 runs, 48 RBI, six HR, and 208 hits. His 695 at-bats missed the ML record by one. He won another Gold Glove. And he beat out Willie Mays by seven points to win the NL MVP award.

Wills led the NL the next three years in stolen bases, but his success ratio fell. His six straight seasons leading the NL in steals set the NL record, and he tied the NL record for most years leading in singles, four (1963-67). He never again scored 100 runs, and he never drew enough walks to really be a great leadoff hitter, although he hit a career-high .302 in 1963 and 1966. But he did lead NL shortstops in assists and total chances per game in 1965. In the 1965 World Series he tied the WS record with four hits (two singles and two doubles) in Game Five. In the same game, he tied the record for double plays started by a shortstop with three.

Traded to the Pirates after 1966 for Bob Bailey and Gene Michael, Wills played third base in Pittsburgh due to the presence of Gene Alley at shortstop. The Pirates didn't protect Wills after 1968, and the Expos selected him in the expansion draft. After a .222 start, he was traded back to the Dodgers with Manny Mota for Ron Fairly and Paul Popovich and regained his stroke. Nearing his 40th birthday in 1972, he was finally succeeded as Dodger shortstop by Bill Russell.

Wills was named Mariners manager near the end of the 1980 season and promised to teach the team how to steal a pennant. He was fired in 1981 after a 6-18 start, having had serious discipline difficulties.

After retiring, he managed the Seattle Mariners (1980-81), but did not do so well there. Baseball writer Rob Neyer criticized Wills in his Big Book of Baseball Blunders for "the variety and frequency of [his] mistakes" as manager, calling them "unparalleled." In a short interview appearing in the June 5, 2006 issue of Newsweek, Neyer said, "It wasn't just that Wills couldn't do the in-game stuff. Wills's inability to communicate with his players really sets him apart. He said he was going to make his second baseman, Julio Cruz, his permanent shortstop. Twenty-four hours later he was back at second base. As far as a guy who put in some real time, I don't think there's been anyone close to Wills."

Wills also spent time as a baseball analyst at NBC from 1973 through 1977.

The Maury Wills Museum resides in Fargo, North Dakota at Newman Outdoor Field home of the Fargo-Moorhead Redhawks. Maury was a coach on the team from 1996-1997 and from 1998-2005 was the radio color commentator for the Redhawks with play-by-play man Jack Michaels.

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