Attempting to write a relevant post on Willie Mays is pretty silly. What can I had that can't be seen in about 5,000 other places, and much more comprehensively? Hell, even his page on the Hall of Fame's site refers readers to Baseball Reference!
I'll just do what I've done with superstars before, toss out someone else's list of the Say Hey Kid's accomplishments and talk about what I saw of Mays and a bit about this card.
Try these on for size... cribbed from Willie's Baseball Reference Bullpen page:
- 1951 NL Rookie of the Year Award
- 20-time NL All-Star (1954-1973)
- 2-time NL MVP (1954 & 1965)
- 1963 All-Star Game MVP
- 1968 All-Star Game MVP
- 12-time Gold Glove Winner (1957/ML-CF, 1958-1960/NL-CF & 1961-1968/NL-OF)
- NL Batting Average Leader (1954)
- 2-time NL On-Base Percentage Leader (1965 & 1971)
- 5-time NL Slugging Percentage Leader (1954, 1955, 1957, 1964 & 1965)
- 5-time NL OPS Leader (1954, 1955, 1958, 1964 & 1965)
- 2-time NL Runs Scored Leader (1958-1961)
- NL Hits Leader (1960)
- 3-time NL Total Bases Leader (1955, 1962 & 1965)
- 3-time NL Triples Leader (1954, 1955 & 1957)
- 4-time NL Home Runs Leader (1955, 1962, 1964 & 1965)
- NL Bases on Balls Leader (1971)
- 4-time NL Stolen Bases Leader (1956-1959)
- 20-Home Run Seasons: 17 (1951, 1954-1968 & 1970)
- 30-Home Run Seasons: 11 (1954-1957, 1959 & 1961-1966)
- 40-Home Run Seasons: 6 (1954, 1955, 1961, 1962, 1964 & 1965)
- 50-Home Run Seasons: 2 (1955 & 1965)
- 100 RBI Seasons: 10 (1954, 1955 & 1959-1966)
- 100 Runs Scored Seasons: 12 (1954-1965)
- 200 Hits Seasons: 1 (1958)
- Won a World Series with the New York Giants in 1954
- Baseball Hall of Fame: Class of 1979
Wanna read about Willie Mays? Try this page on Amazon.
Here's a look at his famous 1954 World Series catch for the one guy who's been held captive on a remote island for 60 years:
My best friend growing up was a Giant fan, as was his father. I made lots of trips out to Shea Stadium when the Giants were in town. My friend, of course, idolized Willie Mays. I was pretty much just awed by him. (My favorite Giant was Jim Ray Hart.)
My copy of this card, as you can see, isn't among my best from the set. It's got one dinged corner and suffers from some discoloration. But over-all it's very presentable. If your going to collect a vintage set and not sell off most of your assets you have to make some compromises when it comes to the big ticket cards.
This was likely a '58 shot of Mays. I wonder if he missed New York at that point?