Thursday, May 6, 2010

Say Hey, Happy 79th Birthday to Willie Mays

Growing up as a young baseball fan, they were the numbers everyone knew...755, 714, and 660.

We all knew the numbers, those majestic home run totals of baseball lore, 755 home runs,...Hank Aaron, 714 home runs, Babe Ruth, and 660 home runs...the Say Hey Kid, Willie Mays.

660, The Say Hey Kid, Willie Mays, arguably the best all around player in the history of big league's celebrates his 79th birthday today, and so here's a look at the career of the man who made the basket catch a household name.

Willie Mays was born in Westfield, Alabama on May 6, 1931.

Willie began his professional career in 1947 with the Chattanooga Choo Choo's, and in 1948 began playing in the Negro National League with the Birmingham Black Barons.

Willie made his Major League debut with the New York Giants on May 25th, 1951, started his career 0-12, then hit a HR in his 13th at bat of future Hall of Fame pitcher Warren Spahn.

Willie was the Giants on deck hitter when teammate Bobby Thompson hit his famous "Shot Heard 'Round the World" as the Giants defeated the Dodgers in the 1951 N.L. three game playoffs, 2 games to one.

Who can ever forget the Say Hey Kid's most famous play, "The Catch", off the bat of the Cleveland Indians Vic Wertz in 1954...

Willie Mays...
1951 N.L. Rookie of the Year
Member of the 1951 World Series Champion New York Giants
N.L. MVP, in 1954, and 1965.
1963, 1968 All Star Game MVP
24 Time All-Star Selection
12 Time Gold Glove award Winner
The First Player in the 30/30 Club, with 38 Home Runs, and 40 Stolen Bases in 1956.

Willie Mays had a .302 lifetime batting average, drove in 3,283 runs, and, of course, hit 660 HR's during his 23 years in the big leagues.
Willie Mays was inducted into the National Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, New York, in 1979.


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