This Day In Dodgers History: Maury Wills Traded To Pirates

On December 1, 1966, the Los Angeles Dodgers traded Maury Wills to the Pittsburgh Pirates for Bob Bailey and Gene Michael.

Wills began his career with the Dodgers in 1959 and went on to earn five All-Star Game selections over the next eight seasons. He was the recipient of the 1962 National League MVP Award after hitting .299/.347/.373 with 13 doubles, 10 triples, six home runs, 48 RBI and 104 stolen bases in 165 games.

Wills was said to be heartbroken by the trade, but remained productive with the Pirates, batting .290 with 42 extra-base hits and 81 stolen bases in two seasons. As for Bailey and Michael, their respective stints with the Dodgers were brief and mostly forgettable.

Wills’ tenure with the Pirates came to an end after he was selected by the Montreal Expos with the No. 21 overall pick in the 1968 expansion draft. Wills appeared in only 47 games with the organization before being traded back to the Dodgers for Ron Fairly and Paul Popovich in 1969.

Wills played parts of 12 seasons with the Dodgers over two separate stints, batting .281/.331/.332 with 150 doubles, 56 triples, 17 home runs, 374 RBI and 490 stolen bases. Among Dodgers franchise leaders, Wills ranks first in stolen bases, 10th in total at-bats (6,156), runs scored (876) and hits (1,732).

Wills was on four Dodgers teams that reached the World Series (1959, 1963, 1965 and 1966), during which he played a part in the franchise winning titles in the first three of those appearances.

Maury Wills became fourth member of “Legends of Dodger Baseball”

This past May, Wills became the fourth member of the “Legends of Dodger Baseball,” joining Steve Garvey, Don Newcombe and Fernando Valenzuela. Kirk Gibson has since joined the group as well.

Wills passed away in September at the age of 89, and the Dodgers celebrated his memory by wearing a jersey patch for the remainder of the 2022 season.

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