Vic Willis

Victor Gazaway Willis was born April 12, 1876 and spent his youth and much of his life in Newark, Delaware. He attended and played baseball for Delaware College (now the University of Delaware) in 1897. The "Delaware Peach," as he was known, became famous for his Major League Baseball career which began in 1898 and ended in 1910. During this time, Willis played for the Boston Beaneaters (1898-1905), Pittsburgh Pirates (1906-1909), and the St. Louis Cardinals (1910). Gaining a reputation for his sweeping curveball and his durability, Willis would complete 388 of his 471 starts, record 50 shutouts, and attain a 2.63 ERA during his 12 year professional career. Notably, he completed 45 games during the 1902 season, the most in National League history since 1900. After Willis retired from Major League Baseball in 1910 he purchased the Washington House Hotel on Main Street in his hometown, Newark, Delaware, for $44,000, and remained the sole proprietor of the hotel until his death on August 3, 1947. He is buried close to this location in Saint John's Cemetery. In 1977 Willis was inducted into the Delaware Sports Hall of Fame and in 1995 he was inducted into the National Baseball Hall of Fame.

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The Delaware Public Archives operates a historical markers program as part of its mandate. Markers are placed at historically significant locations and sites across the state. For more information on this program, please contact Katie Hall at (302) 744-5036 or via email at

LOCATION: Corner of West Park Place and Elkton Rd..