MLB: Former Dodger Willie Davis found dead in his home
BURBANK, Calif. — Willie Davis, a speedy center fielder who collected two World Series rings, three Gold Gloves and was a two-time All-Star during his 14 seasons with the Los Angeles Dodgers, has died. He was 69.
Davis was found dead Tuesday in his Burbank home, said Burbank police Sgt. Robert Quesada.
A cause of death was not immediately released, but police said they did not believe foul play was involved.
“He was beloved by generations of Dodger fans and remains one of the most talented players ever to wear the Dodger uniform. Having spent time with him over the past six years, I know how proud he was to have been a Dodger. He will surely be missed and our sincere thoughts are with his children during this difficult time,” Dodgers owner Frank McCourt said in a statement.
Davis’ teammates included Sandy Koufax, Don Drysdale, Johnny Roseboro, Junior Gilliam and Maury Wills. He won his World Series rings in 1963 and 1965.
The Dodgers lost the 1966 series 4-0 to the Baltimore Orioles. In Game 2 of that series, in the last game of Koufax’s pitching career, Davis committed a Fall Classic-record three errors in one inning when he lost one fly ball in the sun, dropped the next one, then overthrew third base.
During the 1965 World Series, Davis stole three bases in one inning, including one where he had to crawl into second base after stumbling and falling.
Davis left the Dodgers in 1973 and went on to play for the Montreal Expos, Texas Rangers, St. Louis Cardinals, San Diego Padres and California Angels.
He retired after the 1979 season with a career .279 average and 398 stolen bases.
Davis was born in Mineral Springs, Ark., in 1940 and moved to Los Angeles with his family when he was still a boy. He attended Roosevelt High School where he was a world class sprinter.
He was recruited by the Dodgers and signed with them when he graduated in 1958, McCourt said. Two years later, he was in the majors. In 1961, he replaced Duke Snider in center field.
Davis still holds six team records. He is the franchise leader in hits (2,091), extra-base hits (585), at-bats (7,495), runs (1,004), triples (110) and total bases (3,094).
He set a team record in 1969 with a 31-game hitting streak. He had more than 20 stolen bases in 11 consecutive seasons.
He appeared in a few television shows, including “The Flying Nun” and “Mister Ed,” usually as himself.