Here’s why San Francisco Giants great Willie Mays is MLB’s GOAT.
We here at Around the Foghorn wish Willie Mays, the greatest player in San Francisco Giants history, a very happy 89th birthday. And we also want to make the case for why he is not only the greatest Giants player, but greatest ballplayer of all time.
We all know that Mays is without question one of the greatest baseball players of all time, but there is a legitimate case to be made that the Say Hey Kid is the greatest to ever play the game.
In his career, he hit .302/.384/.557 with 660 home runs and 1903 RBI. That goes along with 338 stolen bases, 20 All-Star Games, two MVPs, and 12 Gold Gloves. Needless to say, he was pretty good.
But the debate for greatest ballplayer of all time always seems to come down to Mays and the legendary Babe Ruth. Whether it’s because of name recognition or if it’s just good old East Coast bias, Ruth seems to top most lists for the greatest.
No doubt, Ruth was dominant both as a hitter and a pitcher, making him one of the greatest to ever play the sport.
However, a few important things need to be taken into account. Ruth played in an era in which black players were not allowed in major league baseball. Had he truly been playing against the best available talent of his time, then it is worth questioning whether his stats would be as high as they are.
Another factor to take into consideration is Mays not playing in the 1953 season to instead go serve the United States military in Korea. If he had another full season at the height of his powers and Ruth had played against the true best players of his era regardless of race, the conversation around the greatest of all time could be very different.
Mays was a five-tool player before people knew what that was and played the game incredibly for over 20 years. Sadly, he was never able to bring a World Series title to San Francisco, but the 2010 championship made up at least a little for the heartbreak of 1962.
Babe Ruth may be the name that everyone remembers, but on the legend’s birthday, Giants fans know for certain who the true GOAT is in the world of baseball. Happy birthday Say Hey Kid!