Willie Mays reacts to his added hits

Willie Mays still has his sense of humor.

“It must be some kind of record for a 93-year-old,” Mays told CNN in a statement about his 10 more hits after Major League Baseball incorporated the statistics of several Negro Leagues into its own records last week.

The Say Hey Kid is considered one of the greatest players of all time, and the man who many of a certain age first think about when the term “five-tool player” is mentioned. The Hall of Famer had 660 career home runs in 23 seasons, mostly with the New York and San Francisco Giants. 

Mays is also remembered for his spectacular over-the-shoulder catch of the Cleveland Indians Vic Wertz’s long drive in Game 1 of the 1954 World Series at the old Polo Grounds in New York. 

Before playing in the majors, Mays played with the Birmingham Black Barons of the Negro American League as a teenager in 1948. His 10 hits with them now give Mays 3,293, 12th on the all-time list.

The 10 hits came in 43 at-bats in 13 games for a .233 average. He had two doubles and a triple with six RBI.

“I was still in high school,” Mays said in the statement. “Our school did not have a baseball team. I played football and basketball, but I loved baseball. So my dad let me play . . . but ONLY if I stayed in school. He wanted me to graduate. I played with the team on weekends until school was out for the summer.

“I thought that was IT; that was the top of the world. Man, I was so proud to play with those guys “

The New York Giants purchased Mays’ contract in 1950.

“I’m glad the guys who played are getting credit for their hits because those pitchers were good,” Mays said.

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