Willie Howard Mays
by Tom J
Dedicated to my kindergarten teacher,
If there's any word to describe Willie Mays as a baseball player it would be excellent. Mays excelled in all categories. Born in Alabama, by the age of 6 he went to an all black school. When he was 8 he was good enough at baseball to play with the 12-year-olds.
When Mays was 19 he joined the Negro Birmingham Black Barons. Then in 1951 he became part of the New York Giants. In that year he received the "Rookie of the Year" award. This was during the Korean war, and the next year Mays was drafted into military service. When he came back, his first at-bat was a home run.
A year later he became an All-Star Player. He played in All-Star games from 1954 until 1974. Also in 1954, the Giants won their first World Series. Mays was named Most Valuable Player that year for his many great plays, including his over-the-shoulder catch to sweep the Indians in the World Series. Mays won MVP another time. He also won many other awards: twelve gold gloves, four National League crowns, and three stolen base titles.
An interesting fact about Willie Mays is that he is the godfather of another Giants' star Barry Bonds. Mays is 3rd on the all-time home run list with 660. His nickname is the "Say Hey Kid" because of his enthusiasm. Willie Mays is still alive today and living in California. Most People who think about baseball at all consider him the greatest baseball player.