Thomas Harrigan of MLB.com ranked the best late bloomer in MLB history from every position. For the shortstop position, Harrigan gave the honor to Maury Wills, who spent the first eight seasons of his career with the Dodgers. Wills, who ultimately spent 12 total seasons with the Dodgers, was a seven-time All-Star, two-time Gold Glove Award winner and most importantly the 1962 National League Most Valuable Player.
Wills signed with the Dodgers as a teenager prior to the 1951 season, but he didn’t make his MLB debut until he was 26 years old in ’59. Although the speedster struggled in his rookie year, he was an MVP by his fourth season, recording 208 hits, 104 steals and 130 runs in 1962. Wills earned All-Star selections in 1961, ’62, ’63, ’65 and ’66 and was the first-ever All-Star Game MVP in ’62. He finished his career with 2,134 hits and ranks 20th all time with 586 steals.
For the most part, Wills’ career got off to a pretty hot start once he made the big leagues. He finished 17th in MVP voting during his second season and led the league with 50 stolen bases. However, when he won the MVP, Wills was already 29 years old. So, age wise, technically he was a late bloomer. But early on into his career, Wills showed that he was capable of being the best shortstop in baseball.
It really makes you wonder, how in the world did it take him so long to get called up? It also makes you wonder how much better a career he could have had, had he been called up a few years earlier.
- Check out this powerful message from Dodgers’ starting pitcher, David Price
View this post on Instagram
Peaceful kids protest in AZ. We saw many different faces, religions, and ethnicities out for one common goal, EQUALITY. Sooner rather than later my wife and I will have to have those talks with our kids on how society truly views them. I do believe change is coming but that change is going to take time. When everyone is willing to hold others accountable for their actions and words we will see real change. I love you all and that is the way I will teach my kids. We are born full of love, hate is taught. TEACH LOVE!