San Francisco Giants Hat, used by Willie Mays


“The Say Hey Kid” Willie Howard Mays Jr. (b.1931) began his career in the Negro Leagues (1947) before joining the Major League’s New York Giants in 1951. Excepting time in military service (1952-1953,) the exuberant center fielder became a mainstay of the Giants, who relocated to San Francisco in 1958. In 1973 Mays signed with the New York Mets, where he would play his final two seasons.

Mays started his Major League career by winning the 1951 National League Rookie of the Year Award. A two time National League Most Valuable Player (1954, 1965) Mays led the Giants to victory in the 1954 World Series, where in game one, he famously caught a ball, hit by Cleveland Indian Vic Wertz, over his shoulder. Now simply referred to in baseball lore as “The Catch,” the play is the best remembered of the many defensive efforts that earned the speedy outfielder 12 gold gloves to go along with his 24 All Star Game recognitions.

Mays finished his career with .302 batting average, 3,283 hits, 660 home runs, 1,903 runs batted in, and 338 stolen bases. One of the greatest all-around players the sport has ever seen, Mays was inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1979. In 2015 he was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom by President Barack Obama.

Date Made: 1970-1972

User: Mays, Willie

Location: Currently not on view

Place Made: United States: Massachusetts, BostonAssociated Place: United States: California, San Francisco

Name Of Sport: BaseballLevel Of Sport: Professional


See more items in: Culture and the Arts: Sport and Leisure, Sports & Leisure


Exhibition Location:

Credit Line: Thomas Tull

Data Source: National Museum of American History

Id Number: 2017.0084.13Accession Number: 2017.0084Catalog Number: 2017.0084.13

Object Name: baseball hatcap, baseballbaseball caphathat, baseball

Physical Description: wool (overall material)leather (interior band material)Measurements: overall: 5 in x 8 in x 10 in; 12.7 cm x 20.32 cm x 25.4 cm


Record Id: nmah_1836986

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