Monday, August 18, 2014

San Francisco Giants' Willie Mays Hits Final Home Run Of Career


On August 17, 1973, Willie Mays hits his final home run of his career, number 660 off of Don Gullett of the Cincinnati Reds.


Since Mays hit his last home run only two players have passed him on the all-time home run list. One is a currently active player, although on suspension, New York Yankees' Alex Rodriguez and the other is another former San Francisco Giants outfielder, Barry Bonds. Bonds finished his career with the most all-time home runs with 762.
 
“The Say Hey Kid,” Mays is considered by many to be the greatest all-around baseball players that ever played. The ultimate five-tool player, Mays could hit for average and power, had incredible speed and base running abilities and could throw and play defense at a gold glove caliber level.
Mays finished his career as one of the all-time greats with eye-popping stats. He had a lifetime .302 batting average, 3,283 hits, with 523 doubles, 140 triples and 660 home runs. He also had 2,062 runs scored, 1,903 RBIs, 1,464 walks, 338 stolen bases and 1,526 strikeouts.

Four-times Mays led the league in home runs, with his highest single season total coming in 1965 with 52. Mays also led the league in stolen bases four times, with his highest single season total coming in 1956 with 40. He led the league in triples three times with his highest single season total coming in 1957 with 20. He led the league in runs scored twice with his highest single season total coming in 1962 with 130, although he did not lead the league that year. 
Mays led the league in hits once, in 1960 he had 190 hits, although his highest single season total came in 1958 when he had 208 hits, however he did not lead the league that day. Mays led the league in batting average once with his highest single total coming in 1958 with a .347 average, although he did not lead the league that year. He also led the league in walks once, in 1971 he has 112 walks, that was his highest single season total of his career.

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.
His numbers would have been more outrageous but he left baseball in 1953 to serve his country part of the military.
Mays would also finish his career as one of MLB’s most decorated athletes earning 24 All-Star selections including 24 consecutive appearances from 1954 to 1973 including two in 1959, 1960, 1961 and 1962 when the All-Star game was played twice a season, once at the start of the season and once in the now traditional All-Star break. He was a two-time All-Star game MVP in 1963 and 1968.
Mays was also a 12-time Golden Glove winner including 12 consecutive times from 1957 to 1968. He was the National League Rookie of the Year in 1951, and a two-time National League MVP in 1954 and 1965. 12-times Mays was also in the top 10 in MVP voting. He was also a part of the World Series Champion New York Giants.
In 1971 he was given the Roberto Clemente award, and in 1979 Mays was inducted into Cooperstown Baseball Hall of Fame in 1979 with 94.9 percent of the vote on the first ballot in which he was on.
Mays was also elected to the MLB All-Time and All-Century teams in 1997 and 1999 respectively.
The San Francisco Giants have retired his no. 24 jersey.