Biographical

Portrait of Willie Mays

Willie Mays CFGiants

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Career Summary
Years PA AVG OBP SLG DRC+ WARP
22 12493 .302 .384 .557 153 153.8
Birth Date5-6-1931
Height5' 10"
Weight170 lbs
Age87 years, 9 months, 9 days
BatsR
ThrowsR
WARP Summary

MLB Statistics

YEAR TEAM AGE G PA H 2B 3B HR BB SO HBP SB CS AVG OBP SLG DRC+ DRAA BRR FRAA BWARP
1951 NY1 20 121 524 127 22 5 20 57 60 2 7 4 .274 .356 .472 115 13.0 0.2 4.8 3.4
1952 NY1 21 34 144 30 2 4 4 16 17 1 4 1 .236 .326 .409 98 0.5 1.5 4.5 1.1
1954 NY1 23 151 640 195 33 13 41 66 57 2 8 5 .345 .411 .667 161 49.8 1.0 19.4 9.2
1955 NY1 24 152 670 185 18 13 51 79 60 4 24 4 .319 .400 .659 153 45.7 4.5 8.4 8.0
1956 NY1 25 152 650 171 27 8 36 68 65 1 40 10 .296 .369 .557 141 33.8 9.2 16.2 8.0
1957 NY1 26 152 668 195 26 20 35 76 62 1 38 19 .333 .407 .626 163 51.9 2.4 2.7 8.0
1958 SFN 27 152 685 208 33 11 29 78 56 1 31 6 .347 .419 .583 158 51.3 8.2 19.4 10.6
1959 SFN 28 151 648 180 43 5 34 65 58 2 27 4 .313 .381 .583 152 49.1 10.1 -4.4 7.8
1960 SFN 29 153 669 190 29 12 29 61 70 4 25 10 .319 .381 .555 159 52.7 4.4 10.9 9.3
1961 SFN 30 154 659 176 32 3 40 81 77 2 18 9 .308 .393 .584 153 49.0 4.2 16.3 9.2
1962 SFN 31 162 706 189 36 5 49 78 85 4 18 2 .304 .384 .615 164 63.2 5.5 12.3 10.6
1963 SFN 32 157 671 187 32 7 38 66 83 2 8 3 .314 .380 .582 171 58.4 2.1 8.2 9.8
1964 SFN 33 157 665 171 21 9 47 82 72 1 19 5 .296 .383 .607 177 60.6 5.9 9.1 10.5
1965 SFN 34 157 638 177 21 3 52 76 71 0 9 4 .317 .398 .645 197 72.1 2.5 9.8 11.4
1966 SFN 35 152 629 159 29 4 37 70 81 2 5 1 .288 .368 .556 157 41.4 -3.1 11.2 7.5
1967 SFN 36 141 544 128 22 2 22 51 92 2 6 0 .263 .334 .453 127 17.9 5.8 5.6 5.1
1968 SFN 37 148 573 144 20 5 23 67 81 2 12 6 .289 .372 .488 161 39.4 2.2 5.2 7.6
1969 SFN 38 117 459 114 17 3 13 49 71 3 6 2 .283 .362 .437 120 15.2 2.2 -2.8 3.0
1970 SFN 39 139 566 139 15 2 28 79 90 3 5 0 .291 .390 .506 143 33.8 4.3 -6.7 5.0
1971 SFN 40 136 537 113 24 5 18 112 123 3 23 3 .271 .425 .482 157 38.3 5.7 -2.1 6.1
1972 NYN 41 69 242 52 9 1 8 43 43 1 1 5 .267 .402 .446 134 9.8 0.9 -0.7 1.8
1972 SFN 41 19 67 9 2 0 0 17 5 0 3 0 .184 .394 .224 134 2.7 0.4 -0.8 0.5
1973 NYN 42 66 239 44 10 0 6 27 47 1 1 0 .211 .303 .344 90 -1.5 -0.7 -0.2 0.4
Career29921249332835231406601464152644338103.302.384.557153848.079.5146.5153.8

Statistics for All Levels

'opp' stats - Quality of opponents faced - have been moved and are available only as OPP_QUAL in the Statistics reports now.
Minor league stats are currently shownClick to hide.
YEAR Team Lg G PA oppAVG oppOBP oppSLG BABIP BPF BRAA repLVL POS_ADJ DRC+ DRC+ SD FRAA BRR DRAA BWARP
1951 NY1 MLB 121 524 .256 .324 .384 .000 105 15.6 13.9 1.3 115 10 4.8 0.2 13.0 3.4
1952 NY1 MLB 34 144 .263 .331 .394 .000 96 4.3 3.6 0.3 98 21 4.5 1.5 0.5 1.1
1954 NY1 MLB 151 640 .266 .330 .412 .325 116 49.2 16.7 1.5 161 12 19.4 1.0 49.8 9.2
1955 NY1 MLB 152 670 .257 .321 .408 .282 101 59.5 17.2 1.6 153 12 8.4 4.5 45.7 8.0
1956 NY1 MLB 152 650 .255 .313 .401 .281 82 57.6 16.4 1.5 141 8 16.2 9.2 33.8 8.0
1957 NY1 MLB 152 668 .260 .317 .400 .324 102 56.6 16.9 1.5 163 8 2.7 2.4 51.9 8.0
1958 SFN MLB 152 685 .267 .327 .412 .344 110 50.8 18.5 1.7 158 11 19.4 8.2 51.3 10.6
1959 SFN MLB 151 648 .259 .318 .397 .299 100 49 17.9 1.6 152 8 -4.4 10.1 49.1 7.8
1960 SFN MLB 153 669 .258 .317 .396 .319 85 71.7 18.1 1.6 159 10 10.9 4.4 52.7 9.3
1961 SFN MLB 154 659 .264 .326 .408 .296 96 52.5 18.7 1.7 153 10 16.3 4.2 49.0 9.2
1962 SFN MLB 162 706 .263 .324 .396 .286 98 63 19.7 1.8 164 8 12.3 5.5 63.2 10.6
1963 SFN MLB 157 671 .244 .301 .363 .309 97 58.9 16.8 1.5 171 12 8.2 2.1 58.4 9.8
1964 SFN MLB 157 665 .257 .309 .379 .268 97 63.3 17.0 1.5 177 10 9.1 5.9 60.6 10.5
1965 SFN MLB 157 638 .253 .309 .378 .286 101 68.5 16.1 1.3 197 10 9.8 2.5 72.1 11.4
1966 SFN MLB 152 629 .258 .311 .389 .279 99 52.8 16.0 1.2 157 8 11.2 -3.1 41.4 7.5
1967 SFN MLB 141 544 .249 .307 .365 .283 99 21.1 13.1 1.2 127 14 5.6 5.8 17.9 5.1
1968 SFN MLB 148 573 .244 .298 .343 .303 87 38.1 12.6 1 161 9 5.2 2.2 39.4 7.6
1969 SFN MLB 117 459 .252 .318 .373 .313 98 21.9 11.8 0.9 120 13 -2.8 2.2 15.2 3.0
1970 SFN MLB 139 566 .259 .326 .393 .303 99 37.9 15.4 1 143 9 -6.7 4.3 33.8 5.0
1971 SFN MLB 136 537 .254 .312 .370 .339 101 37.6 13.3 -2.1 157 9 -2.1 5.7 38.3 6.1
1972 NYN MLB 69 242 .247 .309 .362 .306 96 13.9 5.7 -0.2 134 12 -0.7 0.9 9.8 1.8
1972 SFN MLB 19 67 .249 .321 .365 .205 98 0.2 1.6 0.1 134 12 -0.8 0.4 2.7 0.5
1973 NYN MLB 66 239 .261 .320 .386 .242 97 -5.6 6.3 -0.5 90 14 -0.2 -0.7 -1.5 0.4

Statistics For All Levels

Minor league stats are currently shownClick to hide.
Year Team Lg PA AB R H 2B 3B HR TB RBI BB SO SB CS AVG OBP SLG ISO SF SH
1951 NY1 MLB 524 464 59 127 22 5 20 219 68 57 60 7 4 .274 .356 .472 .198 1
1952 NY1 MLB 144 127 17 30 2 4 4 52 23 16 17 4 1 .236 .326 .409 .173 0
1954 NY1 MLB 640 565 119 195 33 13 41 377 110 66 57 8 5 .345 .411 .667 .322 7 0
1955 NY1 MLB 670 580 123 185 18 13 51 382 127 79 60 24 4 .319 .400 .659 .340 7 0
1956 NY1 MLB 650 578 101 171 27 8 36 322 84 68 65 40 10 .296 .369 .557 .261 3 0
1957 NY1 MLB 668 585 112 195 26 20 35 366 97 76 62 38 19 .333 .407 .626 .292 6 0
1958 SFN MLB 685 600 121 208 33 11 29 350 96 78 56 31 6 .347 .419 .583 .237 6 0
1959 SFN MLB 648 575 125 180 43 5 34 335 104 65 58 27 4 .313 .381 .583 .270 6 0
1960 SFN MLB 669 595 107 190 29 12 29 330 103 61 70 25 10 .319 .381 .555 .235 9 0
1961 SFN MLB 659 572 129 176 32 3 40 334 123 81 77 18 9 .308 .393 .584 .276 4 0
1962 SFN MLB 706 621 130 189 36 5 49 382 141 78 85 18 2 .304 .384 .615 .311 3 0
1963 SFN MLB 671 596 115 187 32 7 38 347 103 66 83 8 3 .314 .380 .582 .268 7 0
1964 SFN MLB 665 578 121 171 21 9 47 351 111 82 72 19 5 .296 .383 .607 .311 3 1
1965 SFN MLB 638 558 118 177 21 3 52 360 112 76 71 9 4 .317 .398 .645 .328 2 2
1966 SFN MLB 629 552 99 159 29 4 37 307 103 70 81 5 1 .288 .368 .556 .268 4 1
1967 SFN MLB 544 486 83 128 22 2 22 220 70 51 92 6 0 .263 .334 .453 .189 3 2
1968 SFN MLB 573 498 84 144 20 5 23 243 79 67 81 12 6 .289 .372 .488 .199 6 0
1969 SFN MLB 459 403 64 114 17 3 13 176 58 49 71 6 2 .283 .362 .437 .154 4 0
1970 SFN MLB 566 478 94 139 15 2 28 242 83 79 90 5 0 .291 .390 .506 .215 6 0
1971 SFN MLB 537 417 82 113 24 5 18 201 61 112 123 23 3 .271 .425 .482 .211 4 1
1972 NYN MLB 242 195 27 52 9 1 8 87 19 43 43 1 5 .267 .402 .446 .179 0 3
1972 SFN MLB 67 49 8 9 2 0 0 11 3 17 5 3 0 .184 .394 .224 .041 0 1
1973 NYN MLB 239 209 24 44 10 0 6 72 25 27 47 1 0 .211 .303 .344 .134 1 1

Plate Discipline

YEAR Pits Zone% Swing% Contact% Z-Swing% O-Swing% Z-Contact% O-Contact% SwStr% CSAA

Injury History  —  No longer being updated

Last Update: 12/31/2014 23:59 ET

Date On Date Off Transaction Days Games Side Body Part Injury Severity Surgery Date Reaggravation
1973-05-07 1973-06-05 15-DL 29 22 Right Shoulder Strain - -

Compensation

Year Team Salary

 

Service TimeAgentContract Status

Details

BP Annual Player Comments

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BP Articles

Click here to see articles tagged with Willie Mays

BP Chats

DateQuestionAnswer
2017-10-24 20:00:00 (link to chat)Similarly to Kershaw, has anyone ever looked into why Willie Mays was so bad in the postseason? And why does no one seem to care, except for the '73 Series?
(answerdave from 2400 baud)
Everybody who played prior to 1969 (beginning of the multi-level postseason), the numbers for everybody who didn't play for the Yankees has small-sample-size warnings. Mays had 99 postseason plate appearances in his career. That's not enough to be able to say anything about. He had an .802 OPS in the 1954 Series (to go with The Catch) and .989 in the 1972 NLCS (when he was 40!). He was bad in 1951 and not good in '62. And yeah, in '73 he was like AARP eligible. So ignore that one, and say he had two good postseasons and two that weren't good. That doesn't say "chokes under pressure" to me - Rob M (World Series Chat)
2015-06-08 13:00:00 (link to chat)Should the Twins be concerned about Byron Buxton's relatively slow start? Remember just last year he was being compared to Willie Mays and Mike Trout.
(John from CT)
Well, he shouldn't have been compared to those guys anyway, because...well...those are hall-of-famers and you shouldn't compare prospects to hall-of-famers. I'm a little disappointed, but I still think he's the best prospect in baseball. Have patience. (Christopher Crawford)
2014-07-24 19:00:00 (link to chat)With all the hype around Byron Buxton, what are the chances he actually reaches his ceiling? We are still waiting for guys like Jason Heyward and Justin Upton to reach theirs (I know they're still young).
(Shawnykid23 from CT)
extraordinarily low because his ceiling is extraordinarily high. I was talking about this with J.P. Breen last night on the way home from Kane County, just because a player doesn't reach lofty heights doesn't make him worthless or a bust. His ceiling allows for a lot of value even if he falls short. If he's 80% of Willie Mays that's still incredibly valuable. (Mauricio Rubio)
2013-04-15 13:00:00 (link to chat)Might STL claim the top defensive player all time at FOUR of the eight fielding positions? Edmonds, Molina, Ozzie, Keith Hernandez?
(Willie McGee from STL)
Willie Mays says no. (Geoff Young)
2012-12-28 13:00:00 (link to chat)It seemed like James McDonald put everything together before the All-star break last year, however, he slowly fell apart thereafter. What do you expect from McDonald next year? Thanks for the chat, Geoff.
(Jim from Philly)
Hi Jim, thanks for stopping by to chat. I'm going to get crazy and predict an ERA between 4.00 and 4.21 for McDonald this year, same as every year. But yikes, that second half is scary. I don't know how you go from having opponents hit like Jeff Mathis to having them hit like Willie Mays in such a short span. The positive spin is that McDonald showed the ability to dominate over a decent stretch of games. The flip side is... yuck. (Geoff Young)
2012-10-23 13:00:00 (link to chat)Re the (way) earlier question about long swings, check out film of Willie Mays some time. For a guy 5'11", that was some long swing, and he did better than all right.
(frampton from Oakland)
Willie Mays also loves pancakes and makes his own syrup (Jason Parks)
2012-08-23 13:00:00 (link to chat)You have just finished watching a complex league game. You saw, for the first time, a player you had never before heard about. He is now your favorite prospect ever, filling you with feelings of Francisco Lindor, Oscar Taveres and Yu Darvish, held together by Willie Mays' maple syrup and choir robe. What position does he play? Where is he from? What makes him so special? Have you ever stumbled onto such a prospect without any prior knowledge of the kid's existence?
(Nick from Michigan)
He plays shortstop; he's special because he's 6'7'' and weighs 250 lbs; he hits bombs, he steals bases, and he thinks Mike Trout's ceiling is a bag of #slack. He's the first of his kind; the wave of the future. Power-forward body with Venezuelan shortstop actions, Mike Trout's speed, and Stanton's power. He's also a sweetheart that has grit. (Jason Parks)
2011-04-14 13:00:00 (link to chat)Travis Snider and Adam Jones are piling disappointing starts on top of disappointing careers. Do you think either or both will turn it around?
(Rex Little from Big Bear CA)
Well, KG tells me Adam Jones is better than Willie Mays, so he has to turn it around, right? (Of course, that's just his standard intro into how average players today are better conditioned, better trained, etc. -- of course Willie Mays born at the same time as Adam Jones would be better than Adam Jones).

Seriously, though, I fear Adam Jones is turning into Corey Patterson, and I'm losing my optimism about him. Snider is younger and has a better chance of turning things around. (Ken Funck)
2011-01-05 13:00:00 (link to chat)Hi Jay! greetings from your southern-most follower (unless someone in the southern island of NZ is also out there?) Quick question, who would be the 5 charter members of the Baseball HoF if it was founded today?
(Guillermo from Montevideo, Uruguay)
Hey Guillermo! I think if you were to start today, Babe Ruth, Willie Mays, Hank Aaron and Cy Young would be four of those five. I'm not sure who the fifth would be, though - probably another pitcher. Maybe Tom Seaver given that he had the highest vote percentage of all time. (Jay Jaffe)
2011-01-05 13:00:00 (link to chat)Can't we all feel more comfortable with an opening class of 10 of Babe Ruth, Cy Young, Hank Aaron, Willie Mays, Walter Johnson, Jackie Robinson, Ted Williams, Lou Gehrig, Rogers Hornsby, Honus Wanger?
(Bernard from Jersey City)
That's a great place to start. (Jay Jaffe)
2010-03-26 13:00:00 (link to chat)Jay, have you read the new Willie Mays biography? I'm eager to read that side-by-side with Howard Bryant's forthcoming Hank Aarron bio. Will you be checking either or both out? Any other baseball books you eager to read this spring?
(AlexBelth from Bronx)
Hey Alex! I haven't read the Mays book yet, but I'm dying to; it's been sitting in my reading pile for weeks now. I'm torn about the Aaron book, though. On the one hand I think he's the more interesting and complicated character of the two, but on the other hand I think I already know that. And while I really liked Bryant's book on steroids, his subsequent columns on that subject have been so insufferable I'm not sure I'm willing to dive into that in the context of the longtime record holder. Hell, Aaron himself seems to have better perspective on that subject these days. (Jay Jaffe)
2008-09-16 13:00:00 (link to chat)What about Bonds? He was pretty good, too.
(Adam from DC)
Juiced or virgin? There's no wrong answer, but I don't think you can ever go wrong building with strength up the middle. Hence Jackie, hence Willie Mays, but maybe not the Babe or Teddy Ballgame. (Steven Goldman)
2008-09-16 13:00:00 (link to chat)"If you could take one guy from any time period to build your franchise around, who do you pick?" I think I'd go with Willie Mays.
(mattymatty from Philly)
You can't go wrong. (Steven Goldman)
2008-09-10 13:00:00 (link to chat)I don't recall exactly when Eric Davis retired, and I have to acknowledge that his career numbers don't come close to HOF material. However, he stands out to this Reds fan as one of the most exciting players of his era, and I'll forever wonder what might have been had he stayed healthy. What's your top-5 list of "coulda shoulda" players?
(BelongstotheReds from Seattle)
No joke, I got all verklempt when I wrote up Davis' blurb for a JAWS piece a couple years back. The man possessed the most electrifying speed/power combo to hit the majors between Willie Mays and Barry Bonds, period. What I wouldn't give to see him play at his peak again...

Davis and his childhood pal Darryl Strawberry make a good strat to a top five for the Hall of Should aWouldaCoulda, and you can't mention the straw without calling upon Dwight Gooden too. Add David Cone and Fernando Valenzuela and you've got an easy five from me, though I'm certain there are others I could include particularly from other eras. (Jay Jaffe)
2008-07-24 13:00:00 (link to chat)Hi Christina! Love your work! Who gets your vote for greatest living baseball player...
(Mary Beth from St. Louis, MO)
Thank you Mary Beth... Willie Mays is 77 years young, making this a pretty easy call. (Christina Kahrl)
2008-07-24 13:00:00 (link to chat)Joe Posnanski made a good case for Stan Musial as one of the best living ballplayers the other day... where is he on your list?
(BL from Bozeman, MT)
Where's Jay Jaffe when I need him? I don't keep lists like this, but it would definitely be behind Willie Mays. It isn't like it's ever going to be an Olympic event, where Musial's got to stand around on a podium and subsequently explain his disappointment for getting the bronze behind Mike Schmidt or Frank Robinson or something. Maybe I'm being lazy, but Mays seems like a solid enough selection for an off-the-cuff answer. ;) (Christina Kahrl)
2008-07-22 13:00:00 (link to chat) Would you say that Willie Mays is a good comp for Colby Rasmus.
(Clonod from St. Louis)
Comparing anyone to Willie Mays is ridiculous. Don't do that. (Kevin Goldstein)
2008-06-20 13:30:00 (link to chat)Considering how far ahead of the pack he is at his position, is it fair to call Brooks Robinson the best defensive player in history?
(costa24 from Montreal)
Ozzie Smith is, and it's not close. Followed then by Bill Mazeroski, then probably Willie Mays. (Joe Sheehan)
2008-06-04 16:00:00 (link to chat)Anthony Hewitt seems to have shot up the draft boards like no other (with maybe the exception of Lawrie) I remember in recent years. From everything you've heard about him is he worth the risk for top 15?
(Thomas from Newark)
I wish I had a better answer than Maybe!, but I don't. Go get a hold of two scouts. One will tell you that he just might be the next Willie Mays, and the next will tell you that he barely turned him in and there's no way they'd take him. It really is THAT divergent a range of opinions on him. (Kevin Goldstein)
2008-05-22 13:00:00 (link to chat)I'm stealing this question from Joe Posnanski, but who do you think is the best Mets position player of all time?
(Tommy from OPS,FL)
Willie Mays? Mike Piazza? Daryl Strawberry? That's one for Jay Jaffe. (Will Carroll)


BP Roundtables

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