In 2017, MLB named the World Series Most Valuable Player Award after him. (Original Caption) A pat on the head from outfielder Willie Mays, (L), greets San Francisco Giants first baseman Orlando Cepeda as the latter reported for his first workout at the Giants spring training camp here. [48], Shortly after his Hall of Fame election, Mays took a job at the Park Place Casino (now Bally's Atlantic City) in Atlantic City, New Jersey. This created some problems for him with high school administrators at Fairfield, who wanted him to help the teams and ticket sales. The center-field wall at New York’s Polo Grounds was 483 feet from home plate, affording Mays a sufficiently large stage as he outran Vic Wertz’s titanic drive off Don Liddle with runners on first and second and none out in the eighth inning. The Treniers recorded the most famous one–"Say Hey (The Willie Mays Song)"–in 1954, with Mays himself participating in the recording. Still have the signed ball in a case. [351] Ultimately, Mays and his wife moved into the house in November 1957, and Mays wrote that when a brick was thrown through the window, "Some neighbors actually called to ask if they could help. He was busy heading for home plate to score the game’s lone run. He has been invited to the White House on several occasions and was presented the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 2015. Mays was at a movie theater in Sioux City, Iowa, when he found out he was being called up. [14][15] His favorite baseball player growing up was Joe DiMaggio, but Mays was also a big fan of Ted Williams and Stan Musial. [48][73], The Giants won the National League pennant and the 1954 World Series, sweeping the Cleveland Indians in four games. [165], Mays had 13 home runs and 44 RBI through his first 75 games of 1967 but went into a slump after that. "You deserve it," he told Mays. Mays’ contribution was a bases-loaded smash off right-hander Ed Roebuck’s glove for an infield single that trimmed Los Angeles’ lead to 4-3. Bat Day! They finished with an 85–69 record; the 85 wins were more than any of their previous six campaigns. @thatguytylor: I’ve never had the chance to see him play or meet him, though I’d love to just shake his hand. [164] Mays batted .288 with 99 runs scored, 37 home runs, and 103 RBI; by season's end, only Babe Ruth had hit more home runs (714 to 542). Mays also stole 38 bases that year, making him the second player in baseball history (after Frank Schulte in 1911) to reach 20 in each of those four categories (doubles, triples, homers, steals) in the same season. Deb Perry, wife of Gaylord Perry, right, reaches over to shake hands with Willie Mays during a public remembrance for Willie McCovey at AT&T Park in San Francisco, Calif., on Thursday, November 8, 2018. [24], Several Major League Baseball (MLB) teams were interested in signing Mays, but they had to wait until he graduated high school in 1950 to offer him a contract. It means dedication. As part of his change, Mays stood straighter at the plate and kept his feet nearer each other, allowing him to hit more pitches to center and right field. Mays played in over 150 games for 13 consecutive years (a major-league record) from 1954 to 1966. While much of the tour was undocumented, one venue was Andrews Field,[67] located in Fort Smith, Arkansas, on October 16. [310], Mays has made many appearances on television over the years, from appearing in baseball documentaries and on talk shows to acting in sitcoms.

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