This Day In Sports History (May 11th) – Willie Mays
It was on this day in 1972 that the San Francisco Giants traded 41-year-old, future Hall of Famer Willie Mays to the New York Mets. In exchange for Mays, the Giants received pitcher Charlie Williams and $50,000.
Mays was well past his prime at the time of the trade. In fact, he was the oldest position player in the league during the 1972 and 1973 seasons. The trade was seen as more of a public relations stunt for the Mets, rather than them getting the elite player Mays once was. Willie played a season and a half for the Mets. They would go on to make the World Series in 1973, losing to the Oakland Athletics in seven games, after which Mays retired.
Willie “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.
Here is Willie Mays’ famous catch from the 1954 World Series.
Bobby Witt, MLB – Born May 11th 1964 (age 48) in Arlington, Virginia
Matt Leinart, NFL – Born May 11th 1983 (age 29) in Santa Ana, California
Andres Iniesta, Soccer – Born May 11th 1984 (age 28) in Fuenteabilla, Spain