Earlier this month Ken Griffey Jr. and former Los Angeles Dodgers catcher Mike Piazza were the lone players voted into the Baseball Hall of Fame for the 2015 class.
Griffey, who was eligible for the first time in his career, set a record by appearing on 99.32 percent of the ballots (437 of 440). He’s also the first No. 1 overall draft pick voted into the Hall.
Tom Seaver, elected in 1992, held the previous high with 98.84 percent. Piazza, taken by the Dodgers in the 62nd round of the 1988 draft, is the lowest-drafted player elected to the Hall of Fame.
Although Piazza said he will head into the Hall as a member of the New York Mets, he became the 54th player, manager or executive with ties to Dodgers in Cooperstown.
The 54 inductees highlight how successful the Dodgers have been as a franchise both in Brooklyn and Los Angeles, but there is one former player who isn’t yet part of that group and deserves to be.
Although Maury Wills has been passed over on several occasions, he doesn’t hold any grudges, according to Bill Shaikin of the LA Times:
“I have the joy of knowing and recalling the great career that I had, and where I came from to get there, and what I went through. That’s all priceless.”
Wills added he’s confident the time will eventually come for him to join the illustrious group of Hall of Famers:
“I do believe I will be inducted,” Wills said. “The question is whether they are going to induct me before I die.”
Wills played eight seasons with the Dodgers and went to five All-star Games over that span. In 14 career seasons he stole 586 bases, which ranks 20th all-time and batted .281. He won the National League MVP Award in 1961 when he batted .299/.347/.373 and added a career-best 104 stolen bases.
The 83 year old has been denied induction to the Hall of Fame a total of 20 times (15 times by the Baseball Writers Association of America and another five by veterans’ committees). Wills is still involved in the Dodgers organization, which this spring is expected to translate to him working with Yasiel Puig.
Additionally, Wills hopes close friend and Dodgers manager Dave Roberts will allow for the legendary base stealer to work on the team’s baserunning.