Inducted – 2005
It’s a long way from rural southeast Kansas to the bright lights of Los Angeles, but William Ellis Russell made the transition with grace and style as a member of the Los Angeles Dodgers. Russell played in more games (2,181) than any other Los Angeles Dodger player and is second only to Zach Wheat (2,322) in Dodger franchise history. As a shortstop with the Dodgers from 1969-86, Russell was part of one of the longest-running infields in baseball history with Steve Garvey (1st base), Davey Lopes (2nd) and Ron Cey (3rd). He posted a .263 career batting average and finished with 1,926 hits, 627 runs batted in and 167 stolen bases. Russell made it to the major league just three years after graduating from Pittsburg High School where his was a standout all-around athlete. He had brief minor league stints with four clubs before joining the Dodgers for good in 1969. He was selected to the National League all-Star team three times and played in four World Series. In the 1978 World Series against the New York Yankees, Russell batted .423 with 11 hits and in five NL Championship Series, he batted .337 in 21 games. Russell was a coach in the Dodgers’ organization for 10 years and then was named manager of the team in June, 1996. He guided the Dodgers to the playoffs in 1996 as a wild card team. Since 2002, Russell has been an umpire observer for the Major League Baseball Commissioners Office. Born October 21, 1948 – Pittsburg, Kansas. Graduated Pittsburg High School, 1966.