Born in Fairfield, Alabama, Willie Mays is one of the greatest baseball players to ever play the game. In 22 major league seasons, mostly with the New York, and later, San Francisco Giants, Mays had a 302 lifetime batting average and amassed 3,283 hits, 660 home runs and an untouchable total of 7,095 career putouts from the outfield. Mays was the National League Rookie of the Year in 1951 and played a significant role in the New York Giants’ World Series victory in 1954. The most memorable moment in Mays’ career occurred in the first game of that series, when he made a running, over-the-shoulder catch at the warning track, popularly known as “The Catch”. Mays earned 2 MVP awards, was awarded 12 Gold Gloves, made 24 All-Star Game appearances, and was a first-ballot Hall of Fame inductee in 1979. ┬áIn 2015, President Barack Obama awarded Mays a Presidential Medal of Freedom.

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Encyclopedia of Alabama