Saturday, March 17, 2012

Collection: Mauty Wills Greats of the Game Autograph

This is my 2000 Fleer "Greats of the Game" autographed card of Maury Wills.

I've already shown several Wills autographed cards on this blog with companion mini-biographies, so I don't have much more to add about how great a player he was. Instead, I'll include several quotes from him I really liked:
  • “I heard all the black people buzzing about this man in Brooklyn named Jackie Robinson. I asked who he was and they told me. Right then, I said, 'I want to play for the Dodgers someday.' That was my childhood dream.”
  • “We played in the Coliseum then, that had over 94,000 people. Prior to that, the biggest crowd I played in front of was about 1,500. And if you can imagine the sound of 94,000 people chanting 'Go, go, go Maury go,' I knew I had a home.”
  • "Bobby Bragan came along and taught me how to switch hit because I was strictly a right-handed hitter. I could do everything but I was afraid of the curve. Not being able to hit that curve ball was the thing that was keeping me from going to the major leagues. I never would have made it [without Bobby Bragan]."
  • "When I was 8 years old playing on the playgrounds and Priddy came by the sandlot and gave us a clinic, I was so impressed with him and the way he took a personal interest," Wills recalls. "He singled me out and said I had a chance to be a good ballplayer one day. It impressed me so much and I just became obsessed with wanting to be a major league player. I wanted to be like he was; and nice, too. I acquired a desire to be a nice person based on how that man was to me and my buddies.
  • "Anytime I get a chance to interact with kids, I have this feeling that maybe I can be their Jerry Priddy."
  • "I'm already so grateful, I live a life of gratitude. I'm grateful for what measure of success I've been able to realize. I know that all those good things that happened to me in my life didn't come just because of myself; maybe a lot of it came in spite of myself."

Vin Scully once said this of Wills:

"When he (Maury Wills) runs, it's all downhill."

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