Willie Mays in 1950 and 1951

I’ve looked up the beginning professional careers of Willie Mays and Mickey Mantle, as reported by the New York Times in 1950 and 1951. It seems Mantle was more highly touted; the paper talked about him more before he came up than it did Mays. I looked at Mantle recently; as for Mays, on June 22, 1950, the Times reported that “the Giants yesterday announced they have signed Willie Mays, Negro outfielder from Fairfield, Ala., to a Minneapolis contract and have farmed him to their Trenton club.”

Mays starred there and in Minneapolis. Here is the Times reporting on his call-up to the Giants on May 25, 1951:

And the Times describing his 0 for 5 that night, in Shibe Park in Philadelphia, an 8-5 win over the Phillies:

On May 28, 1951, in New York, the Times reported:
“After Mays, who had gone 12 for 0 in Philadelphia, where he made his debut for the Giants, hoisted a towering poke that landed atop the left-field roof with the bases empty in the first inning, the Giants were powerless to budge Spahn (who won the game at the Polo Grounds for the Boston Braves, 4-1, in a night game with 23,101 fans attending).

“The free-swinging 20-year-old outfielder, called up from Minneapolis to lend needed punch to the Giant attack, also popped up for the final out with a man on base.”

Here’s a picture of Mays in ’51:

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Published in: on June 28, 2012 at 5:54 pm  Comments (1)  
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One CommentLeave a comment

  1. Imagine batting him third in his MLB debut? They had a lot of confidence in this young man, as well they should have.


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