Maurice Morning Wills was an American professional baseball player and manager. He played in Major League Baseball (MLB) primarily for the Los Angeles Dodgers from 1959 through 1966 and the latter part of 1969 through 1972 as a shortstop and switch-hitter; he played for the Pittsburgh Pirates in 1967 and 1968, and the Montreal Expos the first part of 1969.
Wills was an essential component of the Dodgers’ championship teams in the mid-1960s and is credited for reviving the stolen base as part of baseball strategy.
Wills was the National League Most Valuable Player (MVP) in 1962, stealing a record 104 bases to break the old modern era mark of 96, set by Ty Cobb in 1915. He was an All-Star for five seasons and seven All-Star Games and was the first MLB All-Star Game Most Valuable Player in 1962.
He also won Gold Gloves in 1961 and 1962. In a fourteen-year career, Wills batted .281 with 20 home runs, 458 runs batted in, 2,134 hits, 1,067 runs, 177 doubles, 71 triples, 586 stolen bases, and 552 bases on balls in 1,942 games. From 2009 until his death in 2022, Wills was a member of the Los Angeles Dodgers organization serving as a representative of the Dodgers Legend Bureau.
In 2014, Wills appeared for the first time as a candidate on the National Baseball Hall of Fame’s Golden Era Committee election ballot for possible Hall of Fame consideration in 2015 which required twelve votes. Wills missed getting elected by three votes. All the other candidates on the ballot also missed being elected.
The Committee met and voted on ten selected candidates from the 1947 to 1972 era every three years (this was replaced in 2016 by the Golden Days Era, which covered 1950–1969).
He was on the ballot again for the 2022 ballot for Golden Days Era ballot, but he did not receive enough votes for induction.