Willie Howard Mays Jr
By: Peyton Dougherty
Willie Mays was born may, 6 1931 in West field, Alabama. His parents divorced when Mays was a three years old, and he was raised by his aunt Sarah. By the age of 5 he was playing catch with his father, and by 10 he was sitting on the bench during his fathers games. Mays played baseball, basketball and football in school, excelling in all of them. Because he was still in high school at the time, Mays played only on Sundays during the school year. Mays married his first wife, Margherite Wendell Chapman in 1956 and they divorced in the early '60s. They adopted a son Michael in 1959. Mays remarried to Mae Louise Allen, in 1971.
Mays got off to a slow start in the majors, going hitless in his first 12 at-bats. Despite having only a .274 batting average, 20 home runs and 68 RBI in 121 games. Mays won the 1951 Rookie of the Year Award. His team staged one of the most dramatic comebacks in baseball history. After a two-year hiatus due to military service in the U.S. Army, Mays returned to baseball in 1954. He led the league in hitting with a .345 average and hit 41 home runs. Mays won the first-ever Gold Glove for center field. Mays also became just the second player in baseball history to have 20 doubles, triples, home runs and steals in the same season in 1957.
After retiring, Mays remained in the New York Mets organization, helping out as the team's hitting instructor until the end of the 1979 season. That same year, Mays, along with Mickey Mantle, accepted a public relations job with Bally's casino in Atlantic City, New Jersey. Because of the gambling connection, even though no sports betting exists in New Jersey, Commissioner Bowie Kuhn banned the pair from baseball-related activities.
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