LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - Willie Davis, the speedy former All-Star center fielder who spent most of his 18-season Major League Baseball career with the Los Angeles Dodgers, has died at the age of 69.
Known as “Three Dog” for his ability to often hit triples and because he wore number three on his uniform for most of his career, Davis played on the Dodgers’ World Series championship teams in 1963 and 1965.
Davis set a Dodgers team record in 1969 with a 31-game hitting streak and remains the franchise’s all-time leader in hits, extra-base hits, at-bats, runs, triples and total bases.
“He was beloved by generations of Dodger fans and remains one of the most talented players ever to wear the Dodger uniform,” Dodgers owner Frank McCourt said in a statement.
“Having spent time with him over the past six years, I know how proud he was to have been a Dodger. He will surely be missed and our sincere thoughts are with his children during this difficult time.”
Davis was found dead in his California home on Tuesday by a neighbor who often brought him breakfast, Burbank police told Reuters. There were no signs of foul play and police said they expect Davis died of natural causes.
Davis spent his first 14 seasons with Los Angeles from 1960 to 1973 before going on to play for Montreal, Texas, St. Louis, San Diego and California.
During his career, Davis won three Gold Glove Awards, led the league in triples twice, and stole 20 or more bases in 11 consecutive years.
In the 1965 World Series Davis set a then record of three stolen bases in a single game. He went on to set a more dubious record in the 1966 World Series when he committed three errors in a single inning after losing two balls in the sun and uncorking a wild throw.
Writing by Frank Pingue in Toronto; Editing by Justin Palmer