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05/23/2002 5:04 pm ET
Fans select Wills as Most Exciting Player
LOS ANGELES - All-star shortstop Maury Wills, who electrified Los Angeles
Dodger fans with his baserunning antics, has been chosen as the Most
Exciting Player in Dodger Stadium history in the third in a series of
monthly fan polls running on the Dodgers' official website in recognition of
Dodger Stadium's 40th Anniversary celebration.
Nearly 4,200 fans cast their votes in the latest poll, which began May 1 and
closed yesterday. A new poll is being posted on the first Wednesday of each
month throughout the 2002 season.
Wills was the winner in the closest of the three 40th Anniversary polls so
far. Wills tallied 1,638 votes (39.1 percent), narrowly beating out 1988
National League Most Valuable Player Kirk Gibson by just 17 votes (1,621,
38.7 percent). Next in the voting were second baseman Steve Sax (419),
second baseman Davey Lopes (264) and outfielder Willie Davis (248).
The switch-hitting Wills, who led the National League in stolen bases six
consecutive seasons (1960-65) enjoyed a 12-year Dodger career and hails as
the franchise's all-time leader in steals with 490.
His best individual season was 1962, coinciding with the opening of Dodger
Stadium. That year, Wills became the first Major Leaguer in the modern era
to reach the 100-plateau in stolen bases when he swiped 104, eclipsing the
seemingly unbeatable single-season mark of 96, set by Ty Cobb in 1915.
Wills batted .299 with 208 hits, including 10 triples, 51 walks and 130 runs
scored and was honored as the National League Most Valuable Player.
Whenever Wills got on base, Dodger Stadium fans went into a frenzy as chants
of "Go, Go, Go" echoed throughout the ballpark, encouraging him to steal a
base. During his record-setting 1962 campaign, Wills swiped 61 bases before
the home crowd. In 1965, he threatened his own single-season mark when he
recorded 94 thefts.
In the two previous Dodger Stadium 40th Anniversary polls, Hall of Fame
broadcaster Vin Scully was picked as the All-Time Favorite Dodger at Dodger
Stadium and Sandy Koufax's 1965 perfect game was tabbed as the best pitching
performance in stadium history.
The next fan poll will appear on the Dodgers website beginning Wednesday,