Essay, Research Paper: Willie Mays Or Say Hey Kid


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1. The correct name of my person is Willie Howard Mays Jr. 2. His nickname was
“The Say Hey Kid”. 3. Mays was born May 6, 1931. 4. He was born in
Westfield, Alabama., just outside the major city of Birmingham. 5. The names of
his parents were not known, but his father’s nickname was “Kitty Kat”. 6.
He was the oldest of twelve in his family. 7. The name of the town he lived in
as a child was called Westfield. 8. Both Mr. and Mrs. Mays were athletic. Mr.
Mays played baseball on the all-black teams of the segregated south, as had his
father before him. Mrs. Mays had been a champion sprinter in her school. When he
was growing up, his father worked in a steel mill, and played on a
semi-professional team sponsored by the mill. He began teaching young Mays to
catch a ball even before he could walk. By 14, he had joined his father on the
mill team. 9. His high school had no baseball team, so he played basketball and
football, but before he finished high school, it became clear that baseball
would be his career. 10. No information given. 11. He graduated high school in
1950. No information given on the name of the school. 12. No information given.
13. No information given. 14. No information given. 15. This promising career of
a professional baseball player was briefly interrupted when Mays was drafted
into the Army. His team failed to win the pennant during the two seasons he was
absent, but he returned to the Giants in 1954 to lead them into the World Series
against the Cleveland Indians. Other than that he never had to work. 16. He
lived in many different areas, because he played baseball. Westfield, near
Birmingham was the place where he grew up in Alabama. He was moved from Trenton,
New Jersey to New York City also. Mays had traveled from Chattanooga, Memphis,
and had been through all parts of the country. In New York, he had played with
the New York Cubans. Mr. Mays had played against Philadelphia, and in
Pittsburgh, against the Newark Eagles. He had been to all the big cities. 17. In
1956, he married a divorced woman two years older than he was. 18. The name of
his spouse was Marghuertie Wendell Kennedy Chapman. He later, remarried, in
1971, to social worker Mae Allen. 19. No information given. 20. No information
given. 21. No information given. 22. They adopted a three-year-old boy, Michael,
in 1959. Although the couple divorced in 1961, he and his son remained close.
23. No information given. 24. No information given. 25. He played for the New
York and San Francisco Giants; and briefly at the end of his career, for the New
York Mets. 26. Mays made a great contribution to his occupation, by setting
records, winning games, and earning awards and titles. 27. With his batting
average of .345 and his 41 home runs, he led the league in 1954. Awards and
honors were showered upon him. He was voted the National League Most Valuable
Player in 1954, named Player of the year by The Sporting News, and voted Male
Athlete of the year by the Associated Press poll. He also received the Hickok
Belt, studded with diamonds worth ten thousand dollars, as the professional
athlete of the year. 28. His impact on society was large. He greatly influenced
anyone who watched him. 29. With his 660 home runs in twenty-two years of
playing ball, Mays ranks third, behind Hank Aaron and Babe Ruth, on the all-time
list. He seemed destined to play baseball from the age of six months, when his
father tried to get him to walk by getting him to chase a ball. His
record-breaking achievements as well as his entertaining autobiographies show
how well he used talents to raise the status of the game he loved. 30. His
contributions were mainly in baseball and setting records. Mays played in every
All-Star Game from 1954 through 1973. 31. He is still alive today. 32. He is
still alive today. 33. He is still alive today. 34. He was not the first black
ballplayer, but he had his own barrier to break through. A kind of gentle, good
–natured racism, but racism none the less. 35. In one of the four games
against the Indians, Mays made such a superb catch that it was widely talked
about in public and was considered the greatest ever made on a baseball field.
He was an impressive defensive player because of his famous catches and his
perfect throws at home plate that caught runners out. 36. No information was
given. 37. Mays learned almost as fast as he ran, and his hard hitting and
astonishing fielding skills-along with an inborn sense of showmanship, which
made him wear a cap a size or two large so that it would add a little extra
drama to his catches by falling off- soon helped energize his teammates. It was
in large part his presence that drove the Giants to the pennant in 1951. Mays
was an instant hero, attracting little of the raw racism that had greeted Jackie
Robinson just four years earlier. 38. No information was given. 39. In his 1988
autobiography, Say Hey, he credited Leo Durocher with inspiring him to believe
in himself. 40. No information was given. 41. He is not really that important
anymore, but will always be remembered for his achievements in history.
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