Willie Mays dies at age 93

SneakyQuick

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Never saw him play, though my dad always had good things to say about him.

I don’t know anything really about him. I like to think he is the sportsman I think he was, so I won’t dig deeply.
 

Carolina Speed

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Never saw him play, though my dad always had good things to say about him.

I don’t know anything really about him. I like to think he is the sportsman I think he was, so I won’t dig deeply.
660 home runs, over 3,000 hits and a career .301 BA. Not too many players with those stats. Three maybe 4 including Mays.
 

white lightning

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An amazing player even though I never got to see him other than old videos of him. One of the best baseball players of all time! R.I.P.
 
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I saw Willie Mays play on the TV Game of the Week for many years, and in the prime of his career. Mays outlived his playing contemporaries and a good many of his fans. He was considered the best all around baseball player of his time.

Away from baseball Willie Mays was about as secretive as Joe DiMaggio.
 

Don Wassall

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Willie Mays and Mickey Mantle were often compared to each other when both were in their primes. They were close in age and both were five tool players. Mays won out as far as career numbers as Mantle's body began giving out on him earlier, with 1964 being his last big year when he was just 32, whereas although Mays' last big year was in 1966 when he was 35 he played another seven seasons after that while Mantle retired after the 1968 season. Mays in fact became the poster boy for athletes who hang on too long as by the time he was stumbling around in the outfield for the Mets in 1973 at the age of 42 and hitting just .211 he had become a laughingstock.

But Mays had a great career and is one of the all-time best. He was third on the career HR list for a long time behind Babe Ruth and Hank Aaron and is still sixth, subsequently being passed by the 'roided up Barry Bonds, Albert Pujols (who may or may not have used them) and 'roided up Alex Rodriguez. Like black athletes of the 1950s until the late 1960s, Mays was well behaved and what would be called reserved today. It wasn't until black militancy came to the fore in '68 that black athletes began to "act up" and took up showboating and self-admiration in a big way.

This 1964 cover of Street and Smith's annual baseball magazine, which was prominent and popular for a long time, illustrates the Mantle-Mays rivalry, with Mantle on the cover and an inside story about the two.

1-Street and Smiths 1964 issue Mantle on cover.jpg
 

Booth

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Mays and Mantle will always be connected. I saw them play many games on TV. Willie hung around too long and was just a shell of his former self. Willie had a long eventful life. Injuries and alcohol cut Mantle's career way too short. RIP Willie.
 

white is right

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He even had an outside shot at all time home run record as he served nearly 2 years in the army during the Korean war but Mays didn't not ship out to the Korean war zone.

He was the last link to the stars of the 50's as Koufax was more of journeyman/prospect in his Brooklyn Dodgers days. As far as I know Koufax is now the oldest living hall of fame member.
660 home runs, over 3,000 hits and a career .301 BA. Not too many players with those stats. Three maybe 4 including Mays.
 

jacknyc

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I remember reading about the arguments NYers would have about who was the best center fielder in New York - Mays with the Giants, Mantle with the Yankees, or Snider with the Dodgers. They were all tremendous athletes.
Mantle may have been the best athlete - tremendous power and speed, but Mays was probably more skilled. Snider was also fast, powerful, and skilled, but was overshadowed by these 2 all-time greats, Mays and Mantle.
Mays was also a great base runner and defensive player. He is tied for the most golden gloves won by an outfielder - 12 (Roberto Clemente is the other one). He may be the best all around baseball player ever. He is certainly in that discussion.
 

Freethinker

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Thanks guys, enjoyed reading all the posts. I always appreciate hearing these perspectives of players who were before my time.

RIP.
 

Carolina Speed

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Mays and Mantle will always be connected. I saw them play many games on TV. Willie hung around too long and was just a shell of his former self. Willie had a long eventful life. Injuries and alcohol cut Mantle's career way too short. RIP Willie.
Right Booth. Mantle is another what if. He had injuries dating back to high school and in 1951 his rookie season. I believe he sustained an ACL tear and torn meniscus while stepping on an exposed drain pipe in the outfield. He played the rest of his career without having it properly repaired. Also, Mantle is considered one of the best switch hitters ever. He also is only 1 of 16 players in MLB history to win the Triple Crown. Mays never did.
No doubt Mantle would have been right up there with Mays, Aaron and Ruth had he not sustained so many injuries and of course his alcoholism didn't help either.
 
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