Speedy outfielder Willie Davis, remembered for his record three errors in one inning of a World Series game - Sandy Koufax's last game in the majors, no less - three stolen bases in another World Series inning and replacing Duke Snider in the outfield for the Los Angeles Dodgers, has died.
Davis, 69, was found dead Tuesday in his Burbank, Calif., home, police said, adding they did not believe foul play was involved.
“He was the only person I’ve ever seen score on a fly ball from second base when he did it in (spring training),” Dodgers coach Manny Mota said at spring training in Glendale, Ariz. “Willie running the bases was one of the best. He was exciting. He was a very proud man and a good man. He was a good ballplayer.”
He played for two World Series champions (1963, ’65), won three Gold Gloves and was a two-time All-Star in his 14-year career that started in 1961.
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His 2,091 hits lead the franchise since it has been in Los Angeles .
His Dodgers teammates included Koufax, Don Drysdale, Johnny Roseboro, Junior Gilliam and Maury Wills.
In 1996, Davis was arrested for allegedly threatening his parents with a samurai sword and ninja-style throwing stars, but prosecutors eventually decided not to file charges.
The Dodgers wanted to help Davis, former Dodgers pitcher Don Newcombe said in 1996.
“But if you perceive that a person has some kind of problem, you can’t give him money to enhance the problem,” Newcombe said.
Nathan has ligament tear
Minnesota Twins closer Joe Nathan has a significant tear in the ulnar collateral ligament of his throwing arm, an injury that could require ligament-replacing Tommy John surgery, ending his season.
Nathan has 246 saves the past six seasons, most in the majors during that span.
General manager Bill Smith said the plan is to first give Nathan time in physical therapy before a final decision about surgery.
A second opinion will be sought from Dr. James Andrews, the noted orthopaedic surgeon who removed bone spurs and chips from Nathan’s elbow in October.
Top prospect Stephen Strasburg made his spring training debut, pitching two scoreless innings in the Washington Nationals’ 9-4 loss to the Detroit Tigers.
Strasburg threw 15 of his 27 pitches for strikes and allowed two hits, successive two-out singles by Don Kelly and Alex Avila in the second. But the right-hander finished off Brent Dlugach with a bending, 81 mph breaking ball for an inning-ending strikeout.
The Tampa Bay Rays signed two-time All-Star infielder Hank Blalock to a minor league contract. … Blue Jays right-hander Dustin McGowan, coming back from shoulder surgery, threw 30 pitches in a simulated game. … The Rangers acquired right-handed reliever Edwar Ramirez from the Yankees for cash. … Boxing great Muhammad Ali continued his tour of spring training camps in the Southwest with a visit to the San Francisco Giants in Scottsdale, Ariz., to push the charity Athletes for Hope. … Mets shortstop Jose Reyes was diagnoed with an overactive thyroid. … New York Yankees executive Mark Newman was charged with DUI in Tampa, Fla.