Willie Howard Mays, Jr. (born May 6, 1931), nicknamed "The Say Hey Kid" is a retired American professional baseball player who spent the majority of his Major League Baseball (MLB) career as a center fielder 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, his first year of eligibility.
Mays won two MVP awards and shares the All-Star record of most All-Star Games played (24) with Hank Aaron & Stan Musial. Ted Williams said, "They invented the All-Star Game for Willie Mays." 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.