Willie Mays

Willie Mays
Birthdate 5/6/1931
Death Date
Debut Year 1951
Year of Induction 1979
Teams Giants, Mets
Position Center Field

Willie Mays shares the record for most All Star appearances with Hank Aaron and Stan Musial. Each of the trio played in 24 mid-summer classics.

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Eddie Montague scouted and signed Willie Mays for the NY Giants

Eddie Montague scouted and signed Willie Mays for the NY Giants

Before reaching the major leagues, Willie Mays was property of the Birmingham Black Barons. He got his start in the Negro Leagues at age 17 in 1948, the year after Jackie Robinson’s Dodger debut. The New York Giants sent scout Eddie Montague to determine if Mays could play in the big leagues.
Willie Mays found stardom early, earning the Rookie of the Year Award in 1951

Willie Mays found stardom early, earning the Rookie of the Year Award in 1951

Willie Mays made an immediate impact once he reached the Major Leagues. The 1951 Rookie of the Year was the league’s MVP by his third season. Overall Mays was a 24-time All Star and two-time MVP of both the regular season and the All Star Game. In centerfield he earned 12 consecutive Gold Glov
Two of the greatest World Series catches were made by Mays and Al Gionfriddo

Two of the greatest World Series catches were made by Mays and Al Gionfriddo

Who made the greatest catch in World Series history? Historians and fans alike debate the question. Some say it was Al Gionfriddo’s grab of Joe DiMaggio’s shot down the left field line in the 1947 World Series. Others maintain that Willie Mays’ catch off of the bat of ClevelandR
Willie Mays' most memorable catch came in Game 1 of the 1954 World Series

Willie Mays' most memorable catch came in Game 1 of the 1954 World Series

The date was September 29, 1954. The cavernous Polo Grounds played host to Game 1 of the World Series as the Giants took on the Indians. Cleveland jumped out to a 2-0 lead in the top of the first behind Vic Wertz‘ two-run triple. New York clawed back to tie
Al Gionfriddo robbed Joe DiMaggio of extra bases in the 1947 World Series

Al Gionfriddo robbed Joe DiMaggio of extra bases in the 1947 World Series

Few catches in World Series history rival Willie Mays’ over-the-shoulder grab of Vic Wertz’ drive in 1954. One of the few that are in the conversation is Al Gionfriddo’s effort in the ’47 Fall Classic. It happened in Game 6 at Yankee Stadium. Gionfriddo’s Brooklyn Dodge
Willie Mays earned the prestigious Slocum Award in 1974

Willie Mays earned the prestigious Slocum Award in 1974

Though the William J. Slocum Award is little known to baseball fans, those in the know regard it as one of the most prestigious awards the game has to offer. Given each year to a person judged to have long and meritorious service to baseball, the honor has been given to the most influential men in b

Stories about Willie Mays

Vic Wertz did much more than fly out to Willie Mays in the ’54 World Series

May 1st, 2021 Leave a comment

Willie Mays catch

World Series heroics in a losing cause Vic Wertz played over 1,000 big league games by the time he reached his only World Series in 1954. Once he got to baseball’s biggest stage he was sensational. In Game 1 Wertz opened the scoring with a two-run triple to deep right. In his next two at bats, Wertz hit sharp singles. Then in the 8th inning and the score tied 2-2, Wertz came to bat with two runners on. The first baseman ripped a line drive to deep centerfield in New York’s cavernous Polo Grounds. Giants center fielder Willie Mays turned his back to the plate and sprinted toward the wall. Mays caught up to it and made a spectacular over-the-shoulder grab 450 feet from the plate. “The Catch” brought the 52,751 fans in attendance to their feet. The Giants won the game 5-2 in ten innings. Though his Indians were swept in the Series, Wertz went 8-for-16 with four extra-base hits. For Mays the Game 1 play was another memorable moment in a career filled with them. With 660 homers, 24 all star appearances, 12 straight Gold Gloves and two MVP Awards, he is regarded by many as the game’s […]

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The William J. Slocum Award is one of MLB’s most prestigious honors

October 3rd, 2020 Leave a comment

William J. Slocum Award

The oldest professional sport in the United States, baseball remains America’s National Pastime to this day. The game’s current leagues were flourishing soon after the end of the 1800s. Every city with a team had multiple newspapers reporting their games. Sportswriters worked from stadium press boxes describing their team’s contests in great detail. The widespread news coverage helped grow the game.
In 1908 writers banded together to form the Baseball Writers Association of America. The BBWAA’s founding mission was to “ensure professional working conditions for beat writers at all MLB ballparks and to promote uniformity of scoring methods.
Early in the 1900s New York City boasted three big league teams, the Giants and Dodgers of the National League, and the Highlanders – who later became the Yankees – in the American League. The Big Apple soon became the hub of the baseball world.
One of the writers who covered the New York teams was William J. Slocum. Respected for his baseball knowledge and writing ability, Slocum quickly rose to the top of his profession. Well-liked, he helped organize the New York chapter of the BBWAA.
The Bill Slocom Award is one of the most prestigious awards baseball has to offer. The little-known honor has been given to more than 50 members of the Hall of Fame.

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8 responses to “Willie Mays”

  1. Paul Rosseland says:

    My favorite player of all time. To me Willie was the greatest to play the game.

  2. Gil says:

    It was 425 feet to the fence where Mays caught Wertz fly – not 450.

  3. Stephen says:

    Greatest baseball player I ever saw. Shook his hand at a signing in 1979. Haven’t washed it since

  4. PAUL PAQUIN says:

    Willie Mays certainly would be a top 10 player all time ! but baseball had many stars over the last 125 years ! and many in the hall of fame to compete ! but Willie was certainly as good as any of them !

  5. Cooldrive says:

    Mays always said he knew he’d catch the ball but was trying to figure out how to step and angle his body so he could get the ball back to the infield. He only takes one step, pivots, makes the throw, and falls down.
    In the bottom of the tenth, with the score tied, Mays bats with one out and draws an 11 pitch walk. He looks down and sees Cleveland’s great catcher, Jim Hegan, has been replaced and signals to Durocher that he thinks he can steal (he wasn’t stealing a lot in the majors yet).
    Leo gives the okay and Mays cops second. This forces Indian manager Al Lopez’s hand and with first base open, they walk Hank Thompson. Up comes Dusty Rhodes who sends everybody home with a homer (off Bob Lemon, still in the game as the starter).

  6. Bob Gulledge says:

    My #1 player. “The Catch” set me on fire when I was 8 years old. Joe Posnanski, author of The Baseball 100, rated Willie the best ever over the Babe at #2! 660 homers despite 2 lost years to military service makes me think Willie had a shot at exceeding 714. He was Mr Excitement! Thanks for the memories!

  7. Willie Andino says:

    The” say hey kid ” Mr Willie Mays greatest baseball player to ever done a baseball uniform let not forget outside of the two years he spent in Korea, playing at windy candlestick Park there’s no telling how many balls he hit deep into the outfield that were held from going over into the bay for home run there’s no doubt in my mind Willie would be the all-time home run King today, he still finished with 665 amazing player my hero growing up thank you Willie Mays God bless!

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