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Willie Mays Inducted Into Cooperstown Hall

Baseball On This Day

On this day, in 1979 baseball's Willie Mays, Hack Wilson & Warren Giles are inducted in Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, NY.


  August 5, 1979

Sport: Baseball


Willie Mays was inducted into the National Baseball Hall of Fame on Aug. 5, 1979, and in show of how revered he was, the 20-time All-Star was selected for the honor with 94% of the vote in just his first year of eligibility. Mays’ other career milestones include being named National League Rookie of the Year in 1951 and winning 12 Rawlings Gold Glove Awards as an outfielder — tied for most all-time with the Pittsburgh Pirates’ Roberto Clemente. 

Mays played 22 seasons and owns impressive career stats: a .302 batting average, 3,283 hits, 660 home runs and 1,903 RBIs. 

In his induction speech, Mays said, “What can I say? This country is made up of a great many things. You can grow up to be what you want. I chose baseball, and I loved every minute of it. I give you one word — love. It means dedication. You have to sacrifice many things to play baseball. I sacrificed a bad marriage and I sacrificed a good marriage. But I'm here today because baseball is my No. 1 love."

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