Willie Mays

(“The Say Hey Kid”)

By:Hunter Schlegel

WILLIE MAYS

  • Born on May 6, 1931 in Westfield, Alabama

  • Mays’s father Cat, played baseball in the Negro League and his mother was a gifted basketball and track star in High School.

  • Played in the Negro League with the Birmingham Black Barons.

  • Scouted by many MLB teams but mostly the Boston Braves, Brooklyn Dodgers, and the New York Giants.

  • Called up on May 24, 1951

  • Recorded his first hit and homerun on his 13th at-bat.

  • Won Rookie of the Year in 1951

  • Drafted into Army in 1952 for the Korean War.

WILLIE MAYS CONT.

  • Won the MVP in 1954

  • Made one of the greatest catches in all of sports history. Known as “Them Catch”.

  • Won his only World Series in 1954

  • 24x All-Star

  • 12x Gold Glove Winner

  • 4x Home Run Leader

  • Inducted into MLB Hall of Fame in 1979

Impact on Society

Willie Mays was one of the first African-American athletes to integrate the MLB. Mays had such a great and quick rise to the majors that he didn’t know how people would take it. Mays said that when he heard the fans heckle him that he just wanted to hit it harder. At one point in his career, the announcer of the opposing team told the fans to stop messing with him because he was killing the opposition. Mays’s impact on society is first helping African-Americans integrate baseball but also proving that the black people can play baseball just as good as the white people.