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Willie Davis, Dodgers great, dies at 69

LOS ANGELES - Willie Davis, a speedy center fielder who collected two World Series rings, three Gold Gloves and was a two-time All-Star during parts of 14 seasons with the Los Angeles Dodgers, has died. He was 69.

"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.

Davis was found dead yesterday in his Burbank home, police said, adding they did not believe foul play was involved.

Davis' teammates included Sandy Koufax, Don Drysdale, Johnny Roseboro and Maury Wills. He won his World Series rings in 1963 and 1965.

The Dodgers lost the 1966 series 4-0 to the Baltimore Orioles. In Game 2 of that series, in the last game of Koufax's pitching career, Davis committed a Fall Classic-record three errors in one inning when he lost one fly ball in the sun, dropped the next one, then overthrew third base.

During the 1965 World Series, Davis stole three bases in one inning, including one where he had to crawl into second base after stumbling and falling.

Davis left the Dodgers in 1973 and went on to play for the Montreal Expos, Texas Rangers, St. Louis Cardinals, San Diego Padres and California Angels. He retired after the 1979 season with a career .279 average and 398 stolen bases.

Davis was born in Mineral Springs, Ark., in 1940 and moved to Los Angeles with his family when he was still a boy. He was recruited by the Dodgers and signed with them when he graduated high school in 1958, McCourt said. Two years later, he was in the majors. - AP

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