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Baseball Nice Willie Mays Passes Away at 93

Willie Mays, whose baseball career started in the Negro American League and ended with him acclaimed as one of the greatest players, if not the single greatest baseball player in the game’s history, passed away from heart failure on June 18, 2024. Mays was 93. Mays signed with the Birmingham Black Barons in 1948 when

Baseball Nice Willie Mays Passes Away at 93

Willie Mays, whose baseball profession began within the Negro American League and ended with him acclaimed as one of many biggest gamers, if not the one biggest baseball participant within the recreation’s historical past, passed away from heart failure on June 18, 2024. Mays was 93.

Mays signed with the Birmingham Black Barons in 1948 when he was 17. He performed with Birmingham till 1950, when he signed with the then-New York Giants upon graduating highschool. Mays first performed with the Giants in 1951, profitable Nationwide League Rookie of the Yr and serving to the Giants win the pennant. Mays was within the on-deck circle when Bobby Thompson hit “the shot heard world wide” off Ralph Branca. He once more led the Giants to the pennant in 1954, this time profitable the World Sequence. Mays appeared in two extra World Sequence, one with the now-San Francisco Giants in 1962 and the opposite with the New York Mets in 1973, his ultimate season in Main League Baseball.

Mays’ profession statistics stay astonishing. He was chosen to the All-Star Recreation 24 instances. He received the Nationwide League Most Helpful Participant award twice. His 660 profession house runs had been second to Babe Ruth on the time of Mays’ retirement. Mays received 12 Gold Glove Awards. He led the Nationwide League in stolen bases 4 instances. Mays led the Nationwide League in house runs 4 instances. He was the primary participant in Nationwide League historical past to have 30 house runs and 30 stolen bases in the identical season. Making his profession stats all of the extra exceptional is that Mays missed many of the 1952 and the entire 1953 seasons because the Military drafted him following the 1951 season. Had he not missed some 266 games as a result of his navy service, it’s not past chance that Mays, not Hank Aaron, would have damaged Ruth’s house run report.

Mays was my first sports activities hero. Rising up within the San Francisco Bay Space, the Giants had been the one recreation on the town till I used to be 9 when the A’s moved from Kansas Metropolis to Oakland. Night time after evening was spent with a transistor radio beneath the pillow so my dad and mom wouldn’t catch me lengthy after my prescribed bedtime listening to Russ Hodges and Lon Simmons name Giants video games from the depressing freezing blight by the Bay, in any other case generally known as Candlestick Park. I poured by the native paper’s sports activities part day by day, devouring each phrase in regards to the Giants. The staff had no scarcity of stars throughout that point, as alongside Mays had been Willie McCovey and Juan Marichal, amongst others. However to me, Mays was at all times first.

I keep in mind my first Giants recreation. It was Bat Day at Candlestick Park. The Giants misplaced to Ferguson Jenkins and the Chicago Cubs 4-0. Mockingly, a few years later, I turned a Cubs fan. Equally sarcastically, the Giants had been taking part in the Cubs tonight, this time at Wrigley Area, when the announcement got here concerning Mays’ passing. The Cubs received 5-2.

Mays was an indelible a part of my and each different San Francisco Bay Space child’s life rising up. His ability, together with the enjoyment and fervour he had for the sport all through his taking part in years and afterward when he labored with the Giants, made him one of the crucial beloved figures not solely in San Francisco Bay Space sports activities historical past but in addition in American sports activities interval.

Godspeed, Willie Mays.

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