11 Cool Willie Mays Facts: In-Depth Details About His Baseball Fame!

Oluniyi Akande
Oct 04, 2023 By Oluniyi Akande
Originally Published on Jan 10, 2022
Willie Mays Facts tell more about the world-famous Baseball Hall of Famer.

Willie Howard Mays Jr is one of the most prominent figures in baseball who was inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1979.

Mays is also regarded as one of the greatest baseball players of all time. He is famously known as the 'Say Hey' kid in the circle of baseball.

Mays spent most of his baseball career playing for San Francisco Giants and New York Giants. He was inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame in the year 1979.

Mays was also nicknamed 'Buck,' and he finished his career playing with the New York Mets. The New York Mets is an American Professional baseball team. Willie Mays spent his professional career associating himself in 22 seasons of major league baseball.

Major league baseball is a very important thing for any athlete. Major League Baseball (MLB) is a professional baseball organization. He mainly practiced being at center field and eventually excelled in defending center field.

He joined the team called Birmingham black barons of the negro American league in 1948.

It might come as a surprise to you that he may have served two years in the United States Army during the Great Korean War, apart from playing in the Birmingham black barons and at the same time won tournaments like the national league. He received the award of the most valuable player in 1954.

Willie Mays's crazy over-the-shoulder catch in the 195 world series triumph is unanimously regarded as the most popular baseball player of all time.

Starting from being an early age national league rookie in the negro leagues, he was the first black team captain in all-star games and the negro leagues. He was scouted by both the Boston Braves and the Brooklyn Dodgers at an early age.

Mays found the game of baseball interesting because his father used to be in the big league himself. Before him, Mays father used to play for the negro teams. Willie Mays was such an excellent player.

He was multi-talented, nailed both batting and bowling. He played so well that until the giants could no longer afford him, in 1972, he was traded off to the New York Mets.

Willie's accomplishment in the game of baseball rendered him numerous honors and awards, like being transferred to the New York Mets. He was bestowed with the Bobby Bragan Youth Foundation Lifetime Achievement Award and was elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1979.

After checking out this interesting information and lesser-known trivia about this greatest baseball giant, also check out Floyd Mayweather facts and John Maynard Keynes facts.

Willie Mays: Family

While having a flourishing baseball career, Willie Mays possessed a natural talent for the game, had a childhood where his father trained him hard to respect the game.

Born in Westfield, Alabama, on May 6, 1931, Willie May's father was a famous baseball player in the region. His mother, Annie Satterwhite, also happened to be a great high school basketball player and athlete.

Although this couple never really married, Willie Mays was raised by his father and his two sisters. May's father was an efficient baseball player who exposed his son to the environment of baseball.

The father and son used to play catch since he was five years old, and he was made to attend the matches happening near the area. When Mays was just 13 years old, he was asked to join a semi-professional baseball team known as the Grey Sox.

During an interview, Willie described while growing up; his favorite baseball players were Joe DiMaggio and Ted Williams. Mays graduated from Fairfield industrial high school in 1950, by the time he was already proficient in both football and baseball. During most of his father's matches, Willie Mays would sit and observe the techniques and strategies of baseball games.

When Mays was starting his professional baseball career, Willie Mays married Margherita Wendall Chapman in 1956, and the couple adopted a boy named Micheal. However, their marriage only lasted a short time, and they eventually had to separate.

Willie Mays again married Mae Louise Allen in 1971, and their marriage lasted for more than 30 years until Mays lost his wife in 2013 after battling Alzheimer's. Mays established the Say Hey Foundation as a non-profit organization. The Say Hey Foundation promotes youth baseball.

Willie Mays: Nicknames

Throughout his flourishing career, Willie Mays, regarded as one of the greatest baseball players of all time, picked up some of baseball's most amusing nicknames. But did you know that there are some fascinating stories behind how he got some of these particular nicknames?

When Willie Mays graduated from high school in 1950, he received 6000 dollars for his associations with the giants. When a rookie session took place, Mays would often yell with ever-growing baseball confidence, 'say who?'

'say what?' 'say hey' to new people that he often couldn't precisely point a finger at. A sportswriter from The New York Journal wrote about Mays addressing him as the 'say hey kid.'

'Duck buck' is another significant nickname for the Baseball Hall of Famer, which stayed with him for years. While playing the game, the rear end of the Willie May was struck, looking like a duck.

But the nickname was shortened to just good old buck, and he is often addressed by his friends even today.

However, this one is not exactly, but since Mays was a captain for the San Francisco Giants, he was unanimously called a cap by his teammates.

Willie Mays was the all-time leading captain with his unwavering 660 home runs; mind you, he was the first and foremost player to reach 300 home runs and grab 300 bases. His talents were amazing in both batting and bowling.

His impeccable knack and aptitude for possessing great speed and power made him an excellent defender since his strong arm ability also made him great in the field. The audience was always impressed with his superb diving and leaping catches. Willie Mays is also regarded as one of the most bankable hitters of all time.

Willie May entered the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1979 for his career with San Francisco Giants and New York Giants.

Willie Mays: Number In Baseball Matches

Many other players were at his competition during the time of his career. Players like Barry Bonds, Bobby Bonds, Jackie Robinson were all important players in the minor leagues. Still, he was awarded the most valuable player award during the major leagues.

He was named second only to Babe Ruth on The Sporting News' List of the 100 Greatest Baseball Players in the Major Leagues to receive the presidential medal. Barack Obama presented him with the presidential medal.

He was also listed in the California hall of fame. Mays became the fourth player in major league history to reach the 20–20–20 mark in 1957.

Willie Mays started wearing the jersey number 24; believe it or not, that number made him incredibly famous, famous enough to be regarded as one of the greatest baseball players of all time. The number 24 was worn by him throughout his spanning baseball career.

Wille may have played as the number 24 when he was in the San Francisco Giants, New York Mets, and New York giants.

The player believed this was his lucky number. A rumor was circulating said that Mays wore the number 24 jersey because he loved Rickey Henderson.

Before 1954, he had worn the jersey number 14. This greatest American former baseball professional played in the position of a center fielder.

This position is also abbreviated as CF. It is often defined as played as a defender in the center field. The role addressed for a player playing in this position is to cover the middle part of the outfield.

Willie Mays also received the most valuable player award in the year 1954 for his excellent batting average, that is, 345. Mays inherited the natural talent of playing baseball from his father, but his towering height also helped him in tackling during the match.

Willie may be about 6 ft (1.80 m) tall and weigh about 183 lb (83 kg).

Willie Mays: Career Match Stats

The total success rate of Willie Mays is about 76.7 percent.

One of the established facts is that he has collected 89 stolen bases and scored a whopping 106 runs with 187 hits and 29 total doubles. Under his record, Mays has nine home runs.

Ways scored a total of 51 home runs in the national league. He continuously won 12 gold glove awards.

However, after leading the national league with 129 runs scored on his record in 1961, Mays led the national league in 1962 games where the giants scored a sweet victory rendering them a face-off with the New York Yankees. Mays, during the time, had become such a significant player that he was making 100000 dollars annually.

1969 proved to be one of the foremost years for him, as Mays scored his 600th home run. He also holds the records for having the sixth-most home runs of all the time.

One must have realized that by now that, most of all, the matches played by Will Mays were always regarded to be his personal favorites where he would try to break his own records. Mays started working at the Bally's Park Place Casino in Atlantic City in October 1979.

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Written by Oluniyi Akande

Doctorate specializing in Veterinary Medicine

Oluniyi Akande picture

Oluniyi AkandeDoctorate specializing in Veterinary Medicine

With an accomplished background as a Veterinarian, SEO content writer, and public speaker, Oluniyi brings a wealth of skills and experience to his work. Holding a Doctor of Veterinary Medicine degree from the University of Ibadan, he provides exceptional consulting services to pet owners, animal farms, and agricultural establishments. Oluniyi's impressive writing career spans over five years, during which he has produced over 5000 high-quality short- and long-form pieces of content. His versatility shines through as he tackles a diverse array of topics, including pets, real estate, sports, games, technology, landscaping, healthcare, cosmetics, personal loans, debt management, construction, and agriculture.

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