Willie Mays, the only player in history to finish his career with over 600 home runs, 300 stolen bases, 3,000 hits, 2,000 runs, 1,900 RBIs, and 12 golden gloves. Say Hey!

The origin of references to Mays as the 'Say Hey Kid' is not clear. See Wikipedia.

He was the best center fielder in the history of the game and many say he was the best all around player.

ESPN says Mays brought joy to baseball,
"The 20-year-old kid with the bright, boyish smile entered the majors tentatively, like a child peeking into a forbidden room. But he soon realized that he did indeed belong, that he wasn't an interloper. Not only did he play the game with extreme skill, but for most of his 22-year career, he made the game seem like, well, fun."

In 1999, Mays placed second on The Sporting News' List of the 100 Greatest Baseball Players.

There are many pictures of the famous catch he made in the 1954 world series, but most experts say that Mays' quick relay throw from deep center field was the most important part of the 1954 play, the catch itself being merely a matter of Mays outrunning the ball. The throw saved a run.
See the catch and throw at YouTube

I attended a game around 1965 where the Giants were down 1 run in the 8th or 9th. Mays, with 2 strikes, fouled off at least 1/2 dozen pitches before getting a pitch he liked and hit it out for a home run. (The pitcher didn't want to walk Mays because McCovey was on-deck)

Born 1931, Westfield, AL
Career statistics
Batting average .302
Home runs 660
Hits 3,283
Runs batted in 1,903
Started in MLB with the NY Giants1 1951
NY Giants move to San Francisco2 1958
Ended with NY Mets 1973
  • 24x All-Star *
  • World Series champion
  • 2x NL MVP
  • 2x MLB All-Star Game MVP
* There were 2 all-star games in 1959-1962

1. The New York Giants played at the Polo Grounds between 155th and 157th Steets in Manhattan across the Harlem River from Yankee stadium.

2. The San Francisco Giants originally played their home games in 1958-59 at the old Seals Stadium at 16th and Bryant Streets. They moved to Candlestick Park, built for them in South San Francisco in 1960. In 2000 they moved to AT&T park (Originally named Pacific Bell Park) in the South of Market (SoMa) neighborhood.

- Willie Mays - The Greatest Giant - SFGate
- Wikipedia
- Willie Mays' Greatest Play Was Against the Brooklyn Dodgers in 1951 | Bleacher Report
- Willie Mays - The Catch
- The catch and throw at YouTube

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last updated 23 Oct 2012