October 31, 2012; San Francisco, CA, USA; San Francisco Giants former center fielder Willie Mays waves to the crowd while riding in a car during the World Series victory parade at Market Street. The Giants defeated the Detroit Tigers in a four-game sweep to win the 2012 World Series. Mandatory Credit: Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

Say Hey! Happy Birthday, Willie Mays

On this day, May 6, 1931 in Westfield, Alabama, the greatest center fielder known to the game of baseball and the greatest player known to the New York or San Francisco Giants, Willie Mays, the Say Hey Kid, was born. Today, he turns 83 years young.

 

Mays began his baseball career in 1947 in the Negro League with the Chattanooga Choo-Choos, but a few short years later, was signed to the New York Giants, and well, the rest is history.

Mays was a career .302 hitter with 660 home runs, which puts him at #4 on the all time list behind only Barry Bonds, Hank Aaron, and Babe Ruth. The only current players with any chance of passing that record is Alex Rodriguez (but not if MLB anyone else in the world has any say in it) and Albert Pujols.

Mays is also a 24-time All Star, World Series Champion (1954), 2-time MVP, Rookie of the Year (1951), 12-time Gold Glove Award winner, and Roberto Clemente Award winner, just to name a few.

But perhaps the best Willie Mays moment ever was “The Catch” that occurred in Game 1 of the 1954 World Series. It saved the go ahead runs in a tied game in the top of the 8th against the Cleveland Indians. The Giants went on to win that game in the bottom of the 10th, and eventually swept the Indians for the World Series win.

 

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