This Week in 1960s Baseball
(September 7, 1962) With four steals in a 10-1 loss to the Pirates, Dodger Maury Wills today broke the modern National League record for stolen bases in a season with his 82nd swipe.
He broke the previous record by outfielder Bob Bescher, set in 1911 as a member of the Cincinnati Reds. In his 11-year major league career, Bescher stole 428 bases, which still ties him for 59th place all-time on the major league list.
Wills remains 19th on the al-time list with 586 stolen bases in 14 big league seasons. During his epic 1962 season, Wills finished with 104 stolen bases, eclipsing Ty Cobb’s major league mark of 96 stolen bases.
Wills’ 1962 total of 104 still ranks as the seventh highest single-season total since 1901. The major league single-season record holder is Ricky Henderson with 130 in 1982. Lou Brock still holds the National League single-season record for steals with 118 in 1974.
Wills capped his record-setting 1962 season by winning the National League Most Valuable Player award.