The Sports Archives Greatest Moments – remembering the “Say Hey Kid”

Willie Mays, nicknamed the “Say Hey Kid”, which may be credited to writer Barney Kremenko in 1951, having overheard Willie say out loud, ” ‘Say who’, ‘Say what,’ ‘Say where,’ ‘Say hey’ ” or maybe to Jimmy Cannon who termed the nickname when Willie first entered the minors and did not know anyone.  He would always say, ” ‘Hey, man.  Say hey, man.’ ”

For whatever reason, Willie Mays had a great career for the San Francisco Giants and finished it off with the New York Mets.  He is the only player to-date in MLB history to have two 50 plus home run seasons 10 years apart, one in 1955 and the other in 1965.  He also has the longest stretch between MVPs, winning it in 1954 and again in 1965.

He hit 660 home runs for his career and had 8 consecutive 100 RBI seasons.

Early on, the Boston Braves passed over Willie which would have brought Mays and Hank Aaron together in the outfield from 1954 to 1973.  I’m sure Braves owners cried over that one.

Willie popularized the basket catch, helped calm the crowds during the Pete Rose – Bud Harrelson brawl,  was Godfather to Barry Bonds, and of course, made ‘the catch‘ over the shoulder in game 1 of the 1954 World Series and prevented Cleveland Indian, Vic Wertz from going 5 for 5 on the day.

Say hey,…say, what a career!

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