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Maury Wills Field to be dedicated in Washington, D.C.
03/24/2009 2:14 PM ET
The Los Angeles Dodgers today announced that former shortstop and current Dodger instructor Maury Wills will have the home field for Cardozo High School in Washington, D.C., formerly known as Banneker Recreation Field, re-named "Maury Wills Field" in his honor. Wills graduated from Cardozo in 1950.

"I'm truly humbled by this dedication," said Wills. "This honor makes me reflect on how a measure of success is based on not how far you go, but from how far you've come. I think back to that day when I was eight-years-old, one of 13 children, and a Major League player came to visit me at my school and right then I knew I had direction and wanted to be a ballplayer. I love this game with a passion and always have."

The dedication ceremony will take place tomorrow, March 25, at noon, following a baseball clinic run by Wills at 10 a.m. for area youth. After the ceremony is complete, Cardozo will play Eastern in a game that officially kicks off the seventh annual Maury Wills Invitational, which includes 11 games played over three days.

Tonight, Wills will be honored on the eve of the dedication with a special dinner put together by D.C. Councilmember Harry Thomas along with help from Councilmember Jim Graham, D.C. Council Chair Vincent Gray, and Cardozo head baseball coach Frazier O'Leary. The dinner will take place at 7 p.m. in the John A. Wilson Building at 14th and Pennsylvania Ave. The Wilson Building is where the Mayors' office and city council is located in Washington, D.C.

In order for the field to be re-named, the City Council, in a resolution sponsored by Thomas, Graham, and Gray amended the existing D.C. rules so the field could be named after a living person.

As a Dodger, Wills revolutionized the game in 1962 when he stole 104 bases, becoming the first player in modern baseball history to reach the 100 base-plateau in steals. A sparkplug at the top of the lineup, the switch-hitter played on four pennant-winners and three World Series champions during his 12 seasons with the Dodgers, retiring as the franchise's career leader in steals with 490. Wills, the 1962 National League Most Valuable Player, led the league in stolen bases for six straight seasons (1960-65) and won a pair of Gold Glove awards.

Wills was a star pitcher and quarterback for Cardozo from 1947-50 and in addition to his work with the Maury Wills Invitational, the Dodger legend has donated equipment to his old high school, located near Howard University and U Street in the District. On April 4, 2004, the D.C. City Council declared "Maury Wills Day," in Washington.

This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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