Willie Howard Mays, Jr. is a retired American professional baseball player who spent the majority of his major league career with the New York and San Francisco Giants before finishing with the New York Mets. He was elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1979 in his first year of eligibility. Mays was nicknamed The Say Hey Kid.
Mays won two MVP awards and tied Stan Musial's record with 24 appearances in the All-Star Game. Mays ended his career with 660 home runs, third at the time of his retirement, and currently fourth all-time. He was a center fielder and won a record-tying 12 Gold Gloves starting the year the award was introduced six seasons into his career.
Willie Mays' unquestionable career statistics and longevity in the pre-PED era, the more recent acknowledgement of Mays as perhaps the finest five-tool player ever, and the overwhelming consensus of many surveys and other expert analyses carefully examining Mays' relative performance, have led to a growing opinion that Mays was possibly the greatest all-around baseball player of all-time. In 1999, Mays placed second on The Sporting News's "List of the 100 Greatest Baseball Players", making him the highest-ranking living player. Later that year, he was also elected to the Major League Baseball All-Century Team. Mays is one of five National League players to have had eight consecutive 100-RBI seasons, along with Mel Ott, Sammy Sosa, Chipper Jones and Albert Pujols. Mays hit over 50 home runs in 1955 and 1965, representing the longest time span between 50-plus home run seasons for any player in Major League Baseball history.
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