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Mays' historic home runs

Enjoy a new installment of "En la bola" by Juan Vené

“If animals could talk, what would they say about us?… Ana María Polo.

Question of the Week…: Yesterday marked the 50th anniversary of the Giants sending Willie Mays to the Mets in a trade. And the day after tomorrow the 14th, it will also be 50 years since Willie's first game with the Mets and in New York. What did he do that afternoon? 

The Answer…: At Shea Stadium, he homered to drive in the winning run, against none other than the team he had played with for 20 years, the Giants.

Willie Mays has been a natural ballplayer. He did everything with elegance, as if instead of requiring effort, he enjoyed flying in an immense space, moving guided by sweet ballet music.

It was Mays, one of only five in history with all five skills to play good baseball.

He made contact batting pitches, with amazing ease (he hit 3.293 hits, for an average of 301); he could hit with remarkable power (he hit 660 home runs), his hands were safe in the field (he participated in 7.112 defensive throws), his arm was powerful, safe (196 assists); furthermore, he ran the bases like the fastest and with the ease of a deer (he had 338 steals in 441 attempts).

Willie, 91 years old, turned 1950 this May, played five weeks in the minors, in 1947. But his professional career had begun in 16, in the Negro Leagues, at age XNUMX, with the Chattanooga Choo-Choos , from Tennessee.

The following year he returned to his hometown of Westfield, Alabama, hired by the Birmingham Black Barons. And in 1950, after signing with the Giants, then from New York, they sent him to class B, Trenton, New Jersey, and he hit 353.

In 1951, he was sent to the Triple A Minneapolis Millers, where he batted 477 in 35 games, so in May he was promoted to the Giants.

And a couple of facts happened that, together, are very curious...: Mays did not hit a single hit in the Major Leagues until his 13th at-bat, when he hit a home run. And in his first Caribbean Series, in 1955, with Santurce and in Caracas, Mays remained without hits, too, for 12 shifts. And his first hit was also a home run, by the way against Ramón Monzant's pitch, in an eleventh inning, with Roberto Clemente on base, to beat Magallanes 4-2.  

Impressive similarity!

During his 23 years as a bigleaguer, Willie Mays could not play in the final part of the 1952 season and all of 1953, because he had to go to Military Service

He was elevated to the Hall of Fame in 1979.

Thanks to the life that has given me so much, even a reader like you.

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