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Former Dodger Willie Davis found dead in Burbank home

March 9, 2010 | 12:16 pm

July 8, 1964, Maury Wills Former Los Angeles Dodgers center fielder Willie Davis was found dead Tuesday morning in his Burbank home, police said. He was 69.

Authorities said that a neighbor who usually brought breakfast to the former baseball star's Victory Boulevard home found Davis' body.

The case is being handled by the Los Angeles County coroner, but authorities said there was nothing to indicate foul play and that it appears that Davis died of natural causes.

Davis, an All-City athlete in several sports at Roosevelt High School in Boyle Heights in the late 1950s, became one of the Dodgers' early stars after the team moved to Los Angeles from Brooklyn in 1958. Known for his offense, Davis played center field for the Dodgers for 13 seasons starting in 1961. He hit in a team record 31 consecutive games in 1969 and batted .305 or above three years straight in the late 1960s and early 1970s.

But he also committed a World Series-record three errors in one inning against the Baltimore Orioles in 1966.

Davis left the Dodgers in 1973. His last season in the major leagues was in 1979 with the Angels.

After baseball, Davis made headlines in 1996 when he was arrested at his parents' home near Gardena for allegedly threatening to kill them and burn down the house unless they gave him $5,000. Davis was armed with a set of throwing knives and a samurai sword, officials said.

The Times will have a full obituary later in the day.

The Times' Mike Hiserman offers an appreciation here.

-- Andrew Blankstein

Photo: Willie Davis jumps out of the way as Maury Wills tries to steal home and St. Louis Cardinals catcher Tim McCarver makes the tag. Credit: Los Angeles Times

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