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Willy Mays

Willy Mays was born on May 6, 1931 in Westfield, Alabama.
His father William Howard Mays Sr.
played baseball for a semi professional called the Birmingham Industrial League and Willy's mother Ann was a track star in high school.
At a very young age Willy was playing catch with his father and learning the basics of the game.
Young Mays played baseball constantly and would sit in the dugout at his father's games and learning the art of playing baseball.
It wasn't long after that Willy at the age of 13 began playing for the Gray Sox, a semi professional team.
Soon after this gifted baseball player was playing center field for the Black Baron and getting paid $250 a month.
In 1950 Willy Mays caught the attention of a scout from the New York Giants baseball team.
Mays was offered a $4000 signing bonus and $250 per month salary to play on the Giants minor league team in Iowa.
In the 1951 season Mays' outstanding performance won him a position on the triple A team the Minneapolis Millers.
Leo Durocher was manager of the New York Giants team at the time and was impressed with Mays' performance.
He gave Willy Mays the center field position and made him the number 3 batter in the Giants lineup.
Mays went on to hit 20 home runs that season with a.
274 batting average.
He was named the National Leagues Rookie of the Year for the 1951 season.
Willy Mays' professional career began in 1950 at the age 19 and came to an end in 1973 at 42 yrs old.
Willy's record speaks for itself with 2 MVP awards, 24 All Star games, 660 career home runs and in 1999 he was named second in the 100 greatest baseball players of all times by The Sports News.
Celebrate Willy Mays and all the great sports personalities of the past and present.

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