Willie Mays

MaysWillie[Willie] MaysSay Hey KidSometimes I Dream of Willie Mays
Willie Howard Mays, Jr. (born May 6, 1931), nicknamed "The Say Hey Kid", is an American former Major League Baseball (MLB) center fielder who spent almost all of his 22-season career playing for the New York/San Francisco Giants, before finishing with the New York Mets.wikipedia
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1979 Baseball Hall of Fame balloting

1979
He is regarded as one of the greatest baseball players of all time and was elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1979.
The Baseball Writers' Association of America (BBWAA) voted by mail to select from recent major league players and elected Willie Mays.

San Francisco Giants

GiantsNew York GiantsSan Francisco
Willie Howard Mays, Jr. (born May 6, 1931), nicknamed "The Say Hey Kid", is an American former Major League Baseball (MLB) center fielder who spent almost all of his 22-season career playing for the New York/San Francisco Giants, before finishing with the New York Mets.
Playing as the New York Giants, they won 14 pennants and five World Series championships behind managers such as John McGraw and Bill Terry and players such as Christy Mathewson, Carl Hubbell, Mel Ott, Bobby Thomson, and Willie Mays.

Hank Aaron

Henry AaronHenry "Hank" AaronAaron
Mays shares the record of most All-Star Games played with 24, with Hank Aaron and Stan Musial.
Aaron holds the record for the most seasons as an All-Star and the most All-Star Game selections (25), and is tied with Willie Mays and Stan Musial for the most All-Star Games played (24).

Stan Musial

MusialStan "The Man" MusialStan The Man
Mays shares the record of most All-Star Games played with 24, with Hank Aaron and Stan Musial.
He also shares the major league record for the most All-Star Games played (24) with Hank Aaron and Willie Mays.

Albert Pujols

Pujols[Albert] PujolsAlberto Pujols
Mays is one of five National League players to have had eight consecutive 100-RBI seasons, along with Mel Ott, Sammy Sosa, Chipper Jones, and Albert Pujols.
Pujols also became the fourth member of the 3,000-hit club to also hit 600 home runs, joining Willie Mays, Hank Aaron, and Rodriguez.

Mel Ott

Mel Ott AwardMelvin OttOtt
Mays is one of five National League players to have had eight consecutive 100-RBI seasons, along with Mel Ott, Sammy Sosa, Chipper Jones, and Albert Pujols.
He passed Rogers Hornsby to become the all-time NL home run leader in and held that title until Willie Mays passed him in.

Minneapolis Millers

MinneapolisMINMinneapolis Miller
After Mays batted .353 in Trenton, he began the 1951 season with the class AAA Minneapolis Millers of the American Association.
Ted Williams, Willie Mays and Carl Yastrzemski were among some future major leaguers who played for the Millers.

1973 World Series

1973World Series1973 Series
His final Major League Baseball appearance came on October 16 during Game 3 of the 1973 World Series.
1969 holdovers Bud Harrelson, Jerry Grote, Wayne Garrett, Tom Seaver, Jerry Koosman, and Tug McGraw joined forces with the Mets' farm-system alumni John Milner and Jon Matlack and trade-acquired Rusty Staub, Félix Millán, and Willie Mays, now 42 years old.

Monte Irvin

In Game 1, Mays, Hank Thompson and Hall of Famer Monte Irvin comprised the first all-African-American outfield in major league history four years after the color line was broken.
When future Hall of Famer Willie Mays joined the Giants in 1951, Irvin was asked to mentor him.

The Catch (baseball)

The Catchcatchover-the-shoulder catch
The 1954 series is perhaps best remembered for "The Catch", an over-the-shoulder running grab by Mays in deep center field of the Polo Grounds of a long drive off the bat of Vic Wertz during the eighth inning of Game 1.
The Catch refers to a defensive play made by New York Giants center fielder Willie Mays on a ball hit by Cleveland Indians batter Vic Wertz on September 29, 1954, during Game 1 of the 1954 World Series at the Polo Grounds in Upper Manhattan, New York City.

1951 World Series

1951World Series1951 World Series champion Yankees
The Giants went on to meet the New York Yankees in the 1951 World Series.
This would be the last World Series for Joe DiMaggio, who retired afterward, and the first for rookies Willie Mays and Mickey Mantle.

30–30 club

30–30 season30-30 club30–30
In 1956, he hit 36 homers and stole 40 bases, being only the second player, and first National League player, to join the "30–30 club".
He remained the sole member of the club for 34 years until Willie Mays achieved consecutive 30–30 seasons in 1956 and 1957.

1951 New York Giants (MLB) season

New York GiantsGiants1951
During the Giants' comeback in August and September 1951 to tie the Dodgers in the pennant race, Mays' fielding and strong throwing arm were instrumental to several important Giants victories.
Center fielder Willie Mays made his major league debut in a game against the Philadelphia Phillies on May 25.

1954 World Series

1954World Seriesworld championship
The Giants won the National League pennant and the 1954 World Series, sweeping the Cleveland Indians in four games.
The Series is perhaps best-remembered for "The Catch," a sensational running catch made by Giants center fielder Willie Mays in Game 1, snaring a long drive by Vic Wertz near the outfield wall with his back to the infield.

Major League Baseball Player of the Month Award

Player of the MonthNL Player of the MonthAL Player of the Month
He did manage to share the inaugural NL Player of the Month award with Stan Musial in May (no such award was given out in April until 1969), batting .405 with 12 HR and 29 RBI; he won a second such award in September (.434, 4 HR, 18 RBIs).

Major League Baseball All-Star Game

All-StarAll-Star GameMLB All-Star
Mays shares the record of most All-Star Games played with 24, with Hank Aaron and Stan Musial.
Commissioner Ford Frick appointed Willie Mays of the New York Giants and Hank Aaron of the Milwaukee Braves to substitute for Reds players Gus Bell and Wally Post, and took fan voting rights away in future games; Bell was kept as a reserve, while Post was injured and would have been unable to play in any event.

Center fielder

center fieldCFcenterfielder
Willie Howard Mays, Jr. (born May 6, 1931), nicknamed "The Say Hey Kid", is an American former Major League Baseball (MLB) center fielder who spent almost all of his 22-season career playing for the New York/San Francisco Giants, before finishing with the New York Mets.

Rawlings Gold Glove Award

Gold Glove AwardGold GloveGold Glove Awards
Mays won two National League (NL) Most Valuable Player (MVP) awards, he ended his career with 660 home runs—third at the time of his retirement and currently fifth all-time—and won a record-tying 12 Gold Glove awards beginning in 1957, when the award was introduced.
Among outfielders, Roberto Clemente and Willie Mays, who played primarily right field and center field, respectively, are tied for the lead with 12 Gold Gloves.

Major League Baseball

MLBMajor LeagueMajor Leagues
Willie Howard Mays, Jr. (born May 6, 1931), nicknamed "The Say Hey Kid", is an American former Major League Baseball (MLB) center fielder who spent almost all of his 22-season career playing for the New York/San Francisco Giants, before finishing with the New York Mets. His final Major League Baseball appearance came on October 16 during Game 3 of the 1973 World Series.
After Willie Mays hit 52 home runs in 1965, only one player (George Foster) reached that mark until the 1990s.

Glossary of baseball (0–9)

five-tool playerfive-toolfive-tool prospect
Mays' career statistics and his longevity in the pre-performance-enhancing drugs era have drawn speculation that he may be the finest five-tool player ever, and many surveys and expert analyses, which have examined Mays' relative performance, have led to a growing opinion that Mays was possibly the greatest all-around offensive baseball player of all time.

Birmingham Black Barons

Black BaronsBirmingham
A short time later, Mays left the Choo-Choos and returned to his home state to join the Birmingham Black Barons of the Negro American League.
Starting in 1945, they became full members of the Negro American League and continued their success, winning a third pennant in 1948 with the help of teenage outfielder Willie Mays.

Hickok Belt

Hickok Belt Award
Mays won the National League Most Valuable Player Award and the Hickok Belt as top professional athlete of the year.

Polo Grounds

Manhattan FieldThe Polo GroundsPolo Grounds I
On his 13th at-bat, however, he hit a towering home run up and over the left field roof of the Polo Grounds off future Hall of Famer Warren Spahn.
The famous photo of The catch made by Willie Mays in the 1954 World Series against Vic Wertz of the Cleveland Indians occurred immediately in front of the "batter's eye", a metal screen atop the grandstand wall directly to the right of the centerfield runway.

Warren Spahn

Spahn
On his 13th at-bat, however, he hit a towering home run up and over the left field roof of the Polo Grounds off future Hall of Famer Warren Spahn.
In 1951, Spahn allowed the first career hit to Willie Mays, a home run.

Andruw Jones

Jones
Mays, Roberto Clemente (also with 12), Al Kaline, Andruw Jones, Ken Griffey, Jr. and Ichiro Suzuki are the only outfielders to have ten or more career Gold Gloves.
Jones started to draw many comparisons to Willie Mays and was considered one of the top center fielders in baseball.