Happy birthday to Willie Mays, baseball hall-of-famer and old school Harlem resident, who turns 82 today. Mays spent the majority of his major league career with the New York and San Francisco Giants before finishing with the New York Mets.
Mays’ became a popular figure in the Harlem community when he moved to New York City to play for the Giants. In the 1951 world series game, ‘The Say Hey Kid’ and the Giants played the New York Yankees, making history with an all African-American outfield that included Hank Thompson and Monte Irvin.
In Harlem, Mays was a hero and “inspiration for black youth” during his time in the Major Leagues. He would later be inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1979.
Happy Birthday to Willie Mays!
Here is a great video from the New York Times about Mays and Harlem: Willie Mays’ Harlem