Thursday, February 11, 2010

Black History Month Spotlight: Willie Mays

William Howard "Willie" Mays, Jr. (born May 6, 1931) is a retired American baseball player who played the majority of his career with the New York and San Francisco Giants before finishing with the New York Mets. Mays was elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1979, his first year of eligibility. Many consider him to be the greatest all-around player of all time.
Mays won two MVP awards and tied a record with twenty-four appearances in the All-Star Game. He ended his career with 660 career home runs, third at the time of his retirement, and currently fourth all-time. In 1999, Mays placed second on The Sporting News list of the 100 Greatest Baseball Players, making him the highest-ranking living player. Later that year, he was also elected to the Major League Baseball All-Century Team. Mays is the only Major League player to have hit a home run in every inning from the 1st through the 16th. He finished his career with a record 22 extra-inning home runs. Mays is one of four NL players to have eight consecutive 100-RBI seasons, along with Mel Ott, Sammy Sosa and Albert Pujols. Mays hit 50 or more home runs in both 1955 and 1965. This time span represents the longest stretch between 50 plus home run seasons for any player in Major League Baseball history.

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