[this is the seventythird installment in the double dippers posts. here are the previous posts - brett butler, omar daal, eric young, nick willhite, chris gwynn, mickey hatcher, dave anderson, don zimmer, rafael landestoy, dave hansen, jose vizcaino, hideo nomo, greg maddux, mike maddux, jon garland, chan ho park, vicente romo, gene mauch, denny lewallyn, von joshua, joe moeller, dioner navarro, rudy seanez, bart shirley, randy wolf, ismael valdes, bobby castillo, mike devereaux, pete richert, jay johnstone, jesse orosco, lee lacy, giovanni carrara, jeff weaver, ted sizemore, orel hershiser, tom goodwin, joe ferguson, eddie murray, matt luke, ken mcmullen, tim wallach, jerry grote, don sutton, ralph branca, todd hundley, elmer dessens, guillermo mota, joe beckwith, jamie hoffmann, babe herman, joe medwick, juan castro, ron perranoski, clyde king, paul waner, hughie jennings, ron negray, broadway aleck smith, george smith, johnny cooney, jim fairey, frenchy bordagaray, doc casey, waite hoyt, luis olmo, clyde sukeforth, willie keeler, harry howell, germany smith, johnny allen, marv rackley, and bobo newsom.]
maury wills debuted for the dodgers in 1959. his first card is arguably the 1960 topps 1959 world series game 5 recap card 'luis swipes base', a card i addressed here. he would have a few cards manufactured by other companies before appearing on a topps card again. here's one of them - a 1962 post card
both cards note wills' prowess as a base stealer - he led the league in that category each season from 1960 through 1965. the jello card references the old stolen base record set by ty cobb of 96 steals in 154 games. actually, cobb played in 156 games during his record setting 1915 season, and although wills stole his 104 bags over a record 165 games, he made sure to steal two bags in game 156 to bring his running total to 97. this was the year after roger maris broke babe ruth's single season home run record, and i would imagine that baseball purists and ty cobb fans would have demanded an asterisk had wills fallen short of 96 steals after 156 games. i guess it's worth noting that wills had 100 steals after 162 games, but twelve and twenty years later, it wouldn't matter as lou brock had 118 steals in 1974 when the cardinals played only 161 games, and rickey henderson set his record 130 steals in 1982 when the a's also played 161 (henderson only appeared in 149 games that year!).
as for wills, he remained the dodgers' shortstop through the 1966 postseason, after which he was traded to the pirates to be their third baseman in 1967. it was that year that he finally signed with topps and received a regular 1967 topps base card of his own, although it's a more scarce high number. i showed my beat up copy in this post, along with a bunch of his cards that should have been that i created.
here's a 1969 topps deckle edge card of wills in a pirates uniform
although the 'p' on the hat has been removed because wills became a member of the expansion montreal expos following his two seasons in pittsburgh. he has the distinction of being the expos' first shortstop and the first expo ever to bat. really, the first expo ever to appear in a game, as montreal opened their inaugural season in new york against tom seaver and the mets. he was also the first expo to strike out, the second one to double, the third one to score a run, the first to record a put out, the first to record an assist, and, fittingly, the first to steal a base. wills only stole 15 bases for the expos in 1969, mostly because he was traded back to the dodgers in early june.
wills reclaimed his shortstop position upon his return to the dodgers, moving eventual rookie of the year ted sizemore to second base. he eventually gave way to bill russell, and his career came to an end with the close of the 1972 season. here's wills' 1972 o-pee-chee card
i included that link up above to the post featuring the 1959-1967 wills cards that i had created. i should give credit to topps for creating the 1962 wills card that should have been. they first used it in their 1975 sets as part of the mvp subset, the mini version of which i showed in this post. it showed up again in the 1982 kmart set
here's to you maury, a dodger double dipper and maybe, just maybe, a hall of famer, too.