Willie Mays
FameRank: 6

"Willie Howard Mays, Jr.", nicknamed ""The Say Hey Kid"" is an Americans/American former professional baseball player who spent the majority of his Major League Baseball (MLB) career as a center fielder with the San Francisco Giants/New York and San Francisco Giants before finishing with the New York Mets. He was elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame in Baseball Hall of Fame balloting, 1979/1979, his first year of eligibility.

Mays won two Major League Baseball Most Valuable Player Award/MVP awards and shares the record of most Major League Baseball All-Star Game/All-Star Games played (24) with Hank Aaron & Stan Musial. Ted Williams said, "They invented the All-Star Game for Willie Mays."[http://www.baseballhalloffame.org/hofers_and_honorees/hofer_bios/Mays_Willie.htm National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum: The Hall of Famers] 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.[http://mlb.mlb.com/mlb/awards/mlb_awards_content.jsp?content=gold_gloves_history MLB Awards / MLB.com: History]

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Baseball is a game, yes. It is also a business. But what is most truly is is disguised combat. For all its gentility, its almost leisurely pace, baseball is violence under wraps.

In order to excel, you must be completely dedicated to your chosen sport. You must also be prepared to work hard and be willing to accept destructive criticism. Without 100 percent dedication, you won't be able to do this.

The home-field advantage in baseball, to me, I don't understand. I had to play as well on the road as I did at home.

If people want to say Barry is No. 1, they won't get an argument from me. As long as I get to be No. 2.

I don't compare 'em, I just catch 'em.

Every time I look at my pocketbook, I see Jackie Robinson.

Maybe I was born to play ball. Maybe I truly was.

We knew we had to keep playing until the game was decided one way or the other. We played 10, 15 innings sometimes. The All-Star Game was important to us. We weren't worried about setting records. We were worried about winning.

I think I was the best baseball player I ever saw.