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Willie Mays Passes – MLB Trade Rumors

Willie Mays passed away peacefully on Tuesday afternoon, Mdondoshiya announced. One of the greatest players in the world and a legend in the sports world, Mays was 93 years old.

All of Major League Baseball is in mourning today as we gather on the ballpark where an unprecedented career and legacy began.,” MLB commissioner Rob Manfred said in a statement regarding Thursday’s game between the Giants and Cardinals at Birmingham’s Rickwood Field, home of the Negro Leagues’ Birmingham Black Barons. “Willie Mays took all his talent from the Birmingham Black Barons of the Negro American League to the historic Giants franchise.

From coast to coast in New York and San Francisco, Willie has inspired generations of players and fans as the game has grown and truly earned its place as our National Pastime. … Thursday’s game at historic Rickwood Field was designed to celebrate Willie Mays and his peers. With sadness in our hearts, it will now serve as a national memorial to an American who will forever remain on the short list of people who have had the greatest impact on our greatest game ever.

A native of Westfield, Alabama, Mays began his professional career in 1948. He appeared in 13 games for the Black Barons en route to that year’s Negro World Series. When Mays finished high school the following year, he received interest from American League and National League clubs. He signed with the Giants (still playing in New York at the time) for a $4,000 bonus. Mays spent the 1950 season in the minors before making his team’s debut the following year.

Mays just hit the ground running. He hit .274 with 20 home runs and impressive pitching defense to win National League Rookie of the Year. The Giants will win the penalty Bobby Thomson the famous “Shot Heard ‘Round the World” against the Dodgers. While they dropped that year’s Fall Classic to the Yankees, it wasn’t long before they were back in the World Series. Mays missed most of 1952 and the entire ’53 season after being drafted into the Army during the Korean War. When he returned to the playing field in 1954, he proved to be one of the best players ever.

As a 23-year-old in his first full big league season, Mays hit .345 with an MLB-best .667 slugging percentage en route to the NL MVP award. The Giants won 97 games to return to the World Series. In Game 1, Mays made perhaps the greatest defensive play in major league history. His over-the-shoulder basket caught a few feet short of the center field wall at the Polo Grounds – a play that would go down in history as “The Catch” – may have saved two runs in a game that had been tied. eighth inning. The Giants would win in 10 innings and sweep the Indians to win the fifth championship in franchise history.

The rosters around May dipped after that season. They would not return to the Fall Classic until 1962 despite their dominance of the middle infielder. Mays hit 51 home runs in 1955, the first three times he had led the majors. He led the National League in stolen bases in four straight seasons from 1956-59 while leading the league in OPS three times in that decade. Mays was established as the best player in the majors when the franchise moved to San Francisco before the 1958 season.

The Say Hey Kid won an All-Star in his first MVP season in 1954. His combination of foreign talent and incredible durability – he would play at least 140 games in each of the following years until 1968 – brought him back to the Midsummer Classic. in 19 straight seasons. Mays was named an All-Star 24 times and in 20 different seasons (there were multiple All-Star teams for a few years in the early 60s). Only Henry Aaron he reached the All-Star Game multiple times in his career.

MLB introduced the Pitching Glove award in 1957, four seasons into Mays’ career with the Giants. He would receive the honor in the first 12 seasons of the award. That binds him with him Roberto Clemente the most among outfielders in league history despite the fact that the honor did not come until Mays’ age-26 season.

Mays would have a strong case for the Hall of Fame based on his glove alone. He is also one of the best batsmen of all time. He hit .296 or better in every season since 1954-65. He never hit fewer than 29 homers in that stretch. Mays ranked in the top ten in MVP voting in all but one year between 1954-66, finishing in the top five nine times. He won the MVP at age 34 in 1965 behind a .317/.398/.645 batting line with an MLB-leading 52 home runs. He was the runner-up Mauri Wills during the Giants’ 62 pennant-winning campaign. Mays did not have a great game in the World Series, however, and San Francisco suffered a seven-game series loss to the Yankees.

Between 1954-66, a span that represents one of the greatest peaks in MLB history, Mays compiled a .315/.390/.601 slash line and 518 homers as the game’s dominant outfielder. Although his production in his late 30s was not yet at that special level, Mays remained a dominant hitter past his 40th birthday. He led the NL in walks and slugging percentage with 40 in 1971, the last season he topped 100 games.

Mays’ time with the Giants ended in May 1972 when San Francisco traded him to the Mets. He finished his career with New York, returning to the World Series in his final season. Mays tried out again after the ’73 campaign and entered coaching with the Mets. He would later serve in a consulting role with the Giants, a franchise with whom he shares so much in common that Oracle Park’s official address is 24 Willie Mays Plaza.

That completed a playing career that spanned 23 seasons in the major leagues (including a brief stint with the Black Barons). Mays played in more than 3000 MLB games, the ninth most in history. It’s on all the leaderboards. Mays is 13th all-time with 3293 hits. He is 12th in runs scored (1909) and seventh in runs scored. Mays is one of nine players to reach the 600-homer mark and sits sixth on the all-time hit list with 660 long balls. When he retired, Aaron only once Babe Ruth there was more.

Mays was an obvious call for Hall of Fame induction when he became eligible in 1979. An example of a five-tool player, he is on the short list of debates about the greatest players in baseball history. Among position players, Mays is a bit behind Barry Bonds and Ruth in Baseball Reference’s Wins Above Replacement metric with a career WAR average of 156. No statistic will answer the question of “best player of all time.” Fans can debate where Mays stacks up against Bonds, Ruth, Aaron, It says Cobb, Ted Williamsetc. It is impossible to have a conversation without talking about him.

Of course, Mays’ respect in baseball circles goes well behind the stat sheet. He is an icon, a fan favorite on both sides during his prime. Mays was one of the first Black players to emerge as a professional when MLB teams first met in the late 1940s and early 50s. His influence extended beyond baseball to the wider American culture.

Mays once Yogi Berra they were among the recipients of the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 2015. MLBTR joins others around the sports world in sending condolences to his family, friends, loved ones and to the countless fans whose lives he impacted for nearly eight decades as the face of baseball.

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