Today in Sports History: September 22

In 1969, San Francisco Giants center fielder, Willie Mays, became the second player to hit 600 career home runs. 

Mays was drafted in 1951 and played for the Giants until 1972. He was then traded to the New York Mets for the last season of his career.

He had a total of 10,881 At-Bats, 1,903 Runners Batted In, 660 Home Runs, and 338 stolen bases. His batting average was .302 with an on-base plus slugging average of .942. 

He was named the 1951 National League Rookie of the Year, a 24-time NL All-Star, and a 12-time Rawlings NL Gold Glove recipient. He also was the 1954 and 1965 National League Most Valuable Player, and the 1963 and 1968 All-Star Most Valuable Player. 

In 1954 he won a World Series Championship and in 1957 he won the Rawlings MLB Gold Glove. He also was awarded the Roberto Clemente Award in 1971. Soon later, the San Francisco Giants retired his uniform number in 1972. In 1979, he was inducted into the National Baseball Hall of Fame for his outstanding career and all he had accomplished. 

After his 22-year-long career, he became a part-time coach and did public relations work for the New York Mets. in 1979, Mays was banned from baseball-related activities after being involved in a PR company that involved gambling concerns. In 1985, the ban was lifted and in 1986 he became a full-time special assistant to the Giants. 

In 2007, Mays was awarded the MLB Rawlings All-Time Gold Glove recipient and in 2015, he was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom from President Barack Obama. 

In 2022, Mays’ uniform number was retired by the New York Mets.

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