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Photo by AP

The Say Hey Kid's career in pictures

May 6, 2021

In 22 seasons from 1951-73, Willie Mays hit 660 home runs, drove in 1,903 runs, batted .302 and was an All-Star in 20 of those seasons. He led his league in homers four times, in stolen bases four times, and had more than 100 RBIs in 10 seasons. He had a thrilling talent and personality that captured the hearts of fans from coast to coast.

Photo by Frank Hurley/NY Daily News Archive/Getty Images

I can't tell you about moments because I wasn't into that. I just played every day and enjoyed what I was doing. When I made a great catch it was just routine. I didn't worry about it. Winning was important. Winning.

Willie Mays
Photo by Negro League Museum

Negro Leagues: Birmingham Black Barons

Photo by AP

New York Giants: 1951 - 1957

Photo by Bettmann/Getty Images

Miltary Service: Korean War - Army 1953

Photo by Robert Riger Collection/Getty Images

San Francisco Giants: 1958 - 1972

He would routinely do things you never saw anyone else do. He'd score from first base on a single. He'd take two bases on a pop-up. He'd throw somebody out at the plate on one bounce. And the bigger the game, the better he played.

Peter Magowan
Photo by AP

New York Mets: 1972 - 1973

Photo by NBHFM/MLB Photos

Willie Mays: 24 Time All-Star

They invented the All-Star game for Willie Mays.

Ted Williams
Mays Willie 1228-92 NBL
Photo by NBHFM/MLB Photos

Hall of Fame: Class of 1979

If you can do that - if you run, hit, run the bases, hit with power, field, throw and do all other things that are part of the game - then you're a good ballplayer.

Willie Mays
Photo by Olen Collection/Getty Images

I remember that last season I played. I went home after a ballgame one day, lay down on my bed, and tears came to my eyes. How can you explain that? You cry because you love her. I cried, I guess, because I loved baseball and I knew I had to leave it.

Willie Mays