Willie Mays is the most famous, popular, and successful players in baseball history, playing in the New York Giants while black players will still a rarity in the major leagues.
For 22 seasons, Willie Mays astonished fans and fellow players with his hitting, his running and his unsurpassed fielding. Not only did he play the game with extreme skill, but for most of his 22-year career, he made the game seem like, well, fun. As sportswriter Arthur Daley put it, he "could do everything and do it better than anyone else, (and) with a joyous grace." In the 1950s and '60s, fans couldn't get enough of Willie Mays.
In the first flush of his fame and popularity, he would get up early to play stickball in the street with the worshipful children who gathered in front of his Harlem boarding house. Fans argue to this day about which was the greatest of his many spectacular catches. One thing all baseball lovers agree on: Willie Mays was one of the most versatile, virtuosic players of all time. His position in the history of his sport will last even longer. In baseball, Willie Mays is one of the immortals.