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Elliott Taylor "Bump" Wills (born July 27, 1952) is a former professional baseball player, a second baseman in the major leagues for the Texas Rangers (1977–81) and Chicago Cubs (1982). He also played two seasons in Japan for the Hankyu Braves (1983–84).

Bump Wills
BumpWills.JPG
May 2014
Second baseman
Born: (1952-07-27) July 27, 1952 (age 66)
Washington, D.C.
Batted: Switch Threw: Right
MLB debut
April 7, 1977, for the Texas Rangers
Last MLB appearance
October 3, 1982, for the Chicago Cubs
MLB statistics
Batting average.266
Home runs36
Runs batted in302
Stolen bases196
Teams

Wills is the son of Maury Wills,[1][2][3] a major league shortstop who later managed the Seattle Mariners. He is currently the manager of the Royse City Griffins of the Southwest League of Professional Baseball.[4]

Contents

Playing careerEdit

A switch hitter, Wills played college baseball at Arizona State University under legendary coach Jim Brock.[5] As a major league rookie in 1977, he was on the cover of Sports Illustrated in March.[2]

That season at Yankee Stadium, Wills and Ranger teammate Toby Harrah hit back-to-back inside-the-park home runs on Saturday, August 27,[6][7] only the second time this feat has ever occurred in a major league game, and the only time on consecutive pitches. Harrah's came on a drive to the right-center field gap; on the play, Yankee outfielder Lou Piniella hit the wall and was injured. By the time another player was able to retrieve the ball, Harrah was being waved home. Wills' HR came on a drive to center field over the head of Mickey Rivers; both were off reliever Ken Clay. Earlier that year at spring training in Florida, Wills controversially replaced Lenny Randle at second base, which led to Randle's punching Rangers manager Frank Lucchesi in the face, sending him to the hospital with a facial fracture.[8][9]

In 1978, Wills stole 52 bases, breaking Dave Nelson's single-season franchise record of 51 in 1972; the number remains a Ranger record for stolen bases in a season.

Wills retired at the end of the 1982 season and later played in Japan. His career batting average was .266.

PersonalEdit

Born in Washington, D.C., Wills grew up in Spokane, Washington, and graduated from Central Valley High School in 1970, where he was a three-sport star and later coached.[1] He regularly managed clinics for younger players in the area as well.

Bump married Laverne Wills in 1977 and had one child, his daughter, Mauricia Morning Wills (named after his father Maury). He later divorced and remarried Marla Roe, in 1989 and had two daughters during that marriage, Meagan and Madeline Wills.

Wills now lives in Garland, Texas, with his wife Deborah. He coaches for the Dallas Mustangs, a renown youth select baseball club.

See alsoEdit

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ a b "Central Valley senior wants baseball career". Spokesman-Review. (Spokane, Washington). November 16, 1969. p. 2S.
  2. ^ a b Gammons, Peter (March 28, 1977). "Bumper crop of boys from the farm". Sports Illustrated. p. 24.
  3. ^ Lawrence, Andrew (September 13, 2004). "Catching up with: Bump Wills". Sports Illustrated. p. 14.
  4. ^ "Royse City Coaching Staff". Royse City Griffins.
  5. ^ [1]
  6. ^ "Bump blasts two HRs". Spokesman-Review. (Spokane, Washington). Associated Press. August 28, 1977. p. D1.
  7. ^ "Texas drops Yankees". Lewiston Morning Tribune. (Idaho). Associated Press. August 28, 1977.
  8. ^ "Randle punches Lucchesi". Spokesman-Review. (Spokane, Washington). Associated Press. March 29, 1977. p. 11.
  9. ^ The Official Site of The Texas Rangers: News: Swapping stories: The '77 Randle trade

External linksEdit