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Willie Mays Autographs, Memorabilia & Collectibles

Born: May 06, 1931 in Westfield, Alabama
Biography | show moreshow less

Full name Willie Howard Mays
Born May 6, 1931, Westfield, Alabama
First Game: May 25, 1951; Final Game: September 9, 1973
Bat: Right Throw: Right Height: 5' 10.5" Weight: 170

Selected to the Hall of Fame in 1979
Named NL Most Valuable Player by Baseball Writers' Association of America (1954 and 1965)
Named Major League Player of the Year by The Sporting News (1954)
Named NL Player of the Year by The Sporting News (1954 and 1965)
Named NL Rookie of the Year by Baseball Writers' Association of America (1951)
Named NL Rookie of the Year by The Sporting News (1951)
Named All-Star Game Most Valuable Player (1963 and 1968)
Named outfielder on The Sporting News Major League All-Star Team (1954 and 1957 to 1960)
Named outfielder on The Sporting News NL All-Star Team (1961 to 1966)
Won Major League Gold Glove as center fielder (1957)
Won NL Gold Glove as center fielder (1958 to 1960)
Won NL Gold Glove as outfielder (1961 to 1968)

This article was written by John Saccoman and is presented in part, courtesy of the Society for American Baseball Research

If somebody came up and hit .450, stole 100 bases, and performed a miracle in the field every day, I'd still look you right in the eye and tell you that Willie was better. He could do the five things you have to do to be a superstar: hit, hit with power, run, throw and field. And he had the other magic ingredient that turns a superstar into a super Superstar. Charisma. He lit up a room when he came in. He was a joy to be around.
--Leo Durocher, Mays's first manager, Nice Guys Finish Last

Many contemporaries agree with Leo Durocher's assessment of Willie Mays as the best all-around player in baseball history. Monte Irvin, Willie's roommate in his early days with the Giants, said, "I think anybody who saw him will tell you that Mays is the greatest ballplayer that ever lived." Stan Musial, Mays's fellow 1950s immortal, echoes these sentiments, saying, "Willie ranks with DiMaggio as the best I ever saw. He's the perfect ballplayer too. Mays can beat a club with his bat, his glove, his arm and his legs."

In baseball's never ending attempts to somehow order its gods, Mays is the only contender whose proponents rarely use statistics to make their case. It is as if Mays's 660 home runs and 3,283 base hits somehow sell the man short, that his wonderful playing record is almost beside the point. With Mays it is not merely what he did -- but how he did it. He scored more than 2,000 runs, nearly all of them, it would seem, after losing his cap flying around third base. He is credited with more than 7000 outfield putouts, most exciting, some spectacular, a few breathtaking. How do you measure that? An artist and a genius, for most of his 23 seasons in the big leagues, you simply could not keep your eyes off Willie Mays.

The great ballplayer's father, William Howard Mays, was named after William Howard Taft, who was the United States president when he was born in 1912. The elder Mays worked in the steel mills of Westfield, Alabama, outside Birmingham. Nicknamed "Kitty-Kat" or "Cat," he was a semipro baseball player for the Westfield entry in the Tennessee Coal and Iron League. Cat's father, Willie's grand-father, Walter Mays, was a sharecropper and pitcher. Cat's wife, the former Anna Sattlewhite, was a high school track star. Willie once wrote, "[She] held a couple of women's track records in that part of the country."

Film Credits | show moreshow less
2008-2008-MLB-All-Star-Game (in person), 2006-Costas-Now (in person), 2003-100-Years-of-the-World-Series (in person), 1998-Up-Close-Primetime (in person), 1993-Comic-Relief:-Baseball-Relief-'93 (in person), 1974-1976-The-Way-It-Was (in person), 1974-Today (in person), 1973-1973-World-Series (in person), 1965-1970-The-Tonight-Show-Starring-Johnny-Carson (in person), 1970-1970-MLB-All-Star-Game (in person), 1970-Della (in person), 1969-1969-MLB-All-Star-Game (in person), 1967-1967-MLB-All-Star-Game (in person), 1964-1966-The-Donna-Reed-Show (in person), 1964-1964-MLB-All-Star-Game (in person), 1958-1958-MLB-All-Star-Game (in person), 1954-Tonight! (in person), 2003-ESPN-SportsCentury (Other), 1991-When-It-Was-a-Game (Other), 2010-Charlie-Rose (in person), 1999-ABC-2000:-The-Millennium (in person), 1990-The-Golden-Decade-of-Baseball (in person), 1977-1977-MLB-All-Star-Game (in person), 1972-1972-MLB-All-Star-Game (in person), 1969-The-Joey-Bishop-Show (in person), 1964-1967-The-Hollywood-Palace (in person), 1963-A-Man-Named-Mays (in person), 1956-The-NBC-Comedy-Hour (in person), 1955-1955-MLB-All-Star-Game (in person), 1951-1951-World-Series (in person), 2011-Prime-9 (Other), 1992-Malcolm-X (Other), 1974-Dinah! (in person), 2010-The-Daily-Show-with-Jon-Stewart (in person), 2007-2007-MLB-All-Star-Game (in person), 2000-Here's-to-You,-Charlie-Brown:-50-Great-Years (in person), 1989-My-Two-Dads (in person), 1985-When-Nature-Calls (in person), 1973-1973-MLB-All-Star-Game (in person), 1971-1971-National-League-Championship-Series (in person), 1969-The-Joe-Namath-Show (in person), 1967-All-Star-Benefit-Celebrity-Baseball-Game (in person), 1966-Bewitched (in person), 1965-1965-MLB-All-Star-Game (in person), 1963-1963-MLB-All-Star-Game (in person), 1962-1962-World-Series (in person), 1954-1962-What's-My-Line (in person), 1960-Home-Run-Derby (in person), 1954-1954-World-Series (in person), 2010-A-Hall-for-Heroes:-The-Inaugural-Hall-of-Fame-Induction-of-1939 (Other), 2003-The-Curse-of-the-Bambino (Other), 1999-Summer-of-Sam (Other), 1960-World-Wide-'60 (Other), 1987-A-Giants-History:-The-Tale-of-Two-Cities (in person), 2006-The-Republic-of-Baseball:-The-Dominican-Giants-of-the-American (in person), 1954-The-Colgate-Comedy-Hour (Sound), 2009-2011-Prime-9 (in person), 2005-The-Top-5-Reasons-You-Can't-Blame... (in person), 2005-ESPN-25:-Who's-#1 (in person), 2000-2004-ESPN-SportsCentury (in person), 2000-Michael-Jordan-to-the-Max (in person), 2000-Joe-DiMaggio:-The-Final-Chapter (in person), 1992-1992-MLB-All-Star-Game (in person), 1991-This-Week-in-Baseball's-Greatest-Plays (in person), 1989-Mr.-Belvedere (in person), 1973-1973-National-League-Championship-Series (in person), 1972-The-ABC-Saturday-Superstar-Movie (in person), 1971-1971-MLB-All-Star-Game (in person), 1968-1968-MLB-All-Star-Game (in person), 1966-1966-MLB-All-Star-Game (in person), 1957-1957-MLB-All-Star-Game (in person), 1956-1956-MLB-All-Star-Game (in person), 1954-The-Colgate-Comedy-Hour (in person), 1954-1954-MLB-All-Star-Game (in person), 2005-ESPN-25:-Who's-#1 (Other), 1997-The-Fifties (Other), 1992-The-50-Greatest-Home-Runs-in-Baseball-History (Other), 1958-The-Steve-Allen-Plymouth-Show (in person), 1958-The-Jack-Paar-Tonight-Show (in person), 1955-1957-The-Ed-Sullivan-Show (in person), 1990-Baseball's-Greatest-Hits (in person)

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