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National Baseball Hall of Fame Week
National Baseball Hall of Fame member Willie Mays looks to the crowd from the stage before induction ceremonies for new members Rickey Henderson and Jim Rice in Cooperstown, New York on July 26, 2009. (UPI Photo/Bill Greenblatt)
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Willie Howard Mays, Jr. (born May 6, 1931) is an American professional baseball player who played the majority of his major league career with the New York and San Francisco Giants before finishing with the New York Mets. Nicknamed The Say Hey Kid, 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 Stan Musial's record with 24 appearances in the All-Star Game. He ended his career with 660 home runs, third at the time of his retirement, and currently fourth all-time. An outstanding center fielder, he won a record-tying twelve Gold Gloves starting the year the award was introduced six seasons into his career.

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 one of five NL players to have eight consecutive 100-RBI seasons, along with Mel Ott, Sammy Sosa, Chipper Jones 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.

This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License.
It uses material from the Wikipedia article "Willie Mays."
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