20–20–20 club

Curtis Granderson (left) and Jimmy Rollins (right) are the most recent players to join the 20–20–20 club, both reaching the milestone in 2007.

Curtis Granderson running 2011
Jimmy Rollins

In Major League Baseball (MLB), the 20–20–20 club is the group of batters who have collected 20 doubles, 20 triples and 20 home runs in a single season.[1][2][3] Frank Schulte was the first to achieve this, doing so in 1911. The last players to reach the milestone—Curtis Granderson and Jimmy Rollins—attained 20–20–20 during the 2007 season. This marked the first time that two players accomplished the achievement in the same season.

In total, only seven players are members of the 20–20–20 club.[4] Of these, five were left-handed batters, one was right-handed and one was a switch hitter, meaning he could bat from either side of the plate. Two players—George Brett and Willie Mays—are also members of the 3,000 hit club,[5] and Mays is also a member of the 500 home run club.[6] Schulte, Rollins, and Jim Bottomley won the Most Valuable Player (MVP) Award in the same year as their 20–20–20 season.[7][8][9] Both Mays and Rollins joined the club while also hitting 30 home runs and stealing 30 bases that same season to join the 30–30 club.[10][11][12] Brett and Rollins collected more than 200 hits alongside achieving 20–20–20.[7][13] Furthermore, four players amassed 20 or more stolen bases during their 20–20–20 season. These players are collectively referred to as the 20–20–20–20 club.[14][15][16]

Historically, there have been numerous players who have hit 20 doubles and 20 home runs in a year. It is the component of triples, however, that makes the 20–20–20 club so difficult to achieve. This is because hitting triples often comes under a similar hit placement as doubles, but may require impressive speed on the part of the runner.[17] This would pose a challenge for both a slugger, who may be slower at running the bases[18] and have the tendency to hit line drives and fly balls out of the park for a home run,[19] as well as a speedster, who may be more swift around the bases[19] but may not supply much power to drive the ball far.

Due to the rare occurrence and low membership of the 20–20–20 club, Baseball Digest called it "the most exclusive club in the Majors"[20] in 1979, when there were only four members. Of the five members eligible for the Baseball Hall of Fame, three have been elected and two were elected on the first ballot.

Members

Willie Mays cropped
Willie Mays reached both the 20–20–20 club and the 30–30 club during the 1957 season and was the only player to reach both marks until Rollins joined him in 2007.
George Brett 1990 CROP
George Brett is one of three 20–20–20 club members to be inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame.
Key
Year The year the player's 20–20–20 season occurred
Player Name of the player
Team The player's team for his 20–20–20 season
2B Number of doubles in that year
3B Number of triples in that year
HR Number of home runs in that year
SB Number of stolen bases in that year
dagger Elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame
double-dagger Player is active
Members of the 20–20–20 club
Year Player Team 2B 3B HR Ref
1911 Frank Schulte Chicago Cubs 30 21 21 [8]
1928 Jim Bottomleydagger St. Louis Cardinals 42 20 31 [9]
1941 Jeff Heath Cleveland Indians 32 20 24 [21]
1957 Willie Maysdagger New York Giants 26 20 35 [22]
1979 George Brettdagger Kansas City Royals 42 20 23 [13]
2007 Curtis Grandersondouble-dagger Detroit Tigers 38 23 23 [23]
2007 Jimmy Rollins Philadelphia Phillies 38 20 30 [7]

20–20–20–20 club

Members of the 20–20–20–20 club
Year Player Team 2B 3B HR SB Ref
1911 Frank Schulte Chicago Cubs 30 21 21 23 [8]
1957 Willie Maysdagger New York Giants 26 20 35 38 [22]
2007 Curtis Grandersondouble-dagger Detroit Tigers 38 23 23 26 [23]
2007 Jimmy Rollins Philadelphia Phillies 38 20 30 41 [7]

See also

References

  1. ^ "Statistics". Baseball Digest. Evanston, Illinois: Century Publishing. 49 (5): 8. May 1990. ISSN 0005-609X. Retrieved July 6, 2012. How many players have had 20 or more doubles, triples, and home rune in the same season? ... To further narrow the 20–20–20 club, has anybody else, besides Mays added 20 stolen bases ...
  2. ^ Koppett, Leonard (July 9, 1990). "At Second, He's First In the Class". The New York Times. Retrieved August 9, 2012. The first year, I almost made the 20-20-20 club: I had 19 triples and 19 homers, and more than 20 stolen bases.
  3. ^ "Granderson joins elite homer-double-triple club, helping Tigers beat Seattle". USA Today. Associated Press. September 7, 2007. Retrieved August 11, 2012. Granderson [was] just the sixth player since 1900 with at least 20 home runs, 20 doubles and 20 triples in one season..., join[ing] the 20-20-20 club.
  4. ^ "Granderson's 20th steal puts Tigers center fielder in select company". ESPN. ESPN Internet Ventures. Associated Press. September 9, 2007. Retrieved December 8, 2010. Granderson has 22 triples—the most by a Tiger since Ty Cobb had 24 in 1917—and 36 doubles. He hit his 20th homer Friday, becoming the sixth player since 1900 in the 20-20-20 club and the first since Kansas City's George Brett in 1979.
  5. ^ "Career Leaders & Records for Hits". Baseball-Reference.com. Sports Reference. Retrieved May 8, 2012.
  6. ^ "Career Leaders & Records for Home Runs". Baseball-Reference.com. Sports Reference. Retrieved May 8, 2012.
  7. ^ a b c d "Jimmy Rollins Statistics and History". Baseball-Reference.com. Sports Reference. Retrieved May 8, 2012.
  8. ^ a b c "Frank Schulte Statistics and History". Baseball-Reference.com. Sports Reference. Retrieved May 8, 2012.
  9. ^ a b "Jim Bottomley Statistics and History". Baseball-Reference.com. Sports Reference. Retrieved May 8, 2012.
  10. ^ Dorfman, John (April 17, 2011). "His 30–30 club has 5 stocks as stars". Omaha.com (Bloomberg News). Archived from the original on January 31, 2013. Retrieved June 24, 2012. In baseball, the club is for ballplayers who belt 30 home runs and steal 30 bases in the same season.
  11. ^ Deane, Bill (May 1987). "Here Are Top Candidates To Join Elite '30-30' Club". Baseball Digest. Evanston, Illinois: Century Publishing. 46 (5): 34. ISSN 0005-609X. Retrieved July 6, 2012. In 1956, Willie Mays became the second player to score a 30-30 season; a year later, he became the first to turn the trick twice.
  12. ^ Jasner, Andy (September 25, 2007). "Rollins joins 30-30 club for first time". MLB.com. MLB Advanced Media. Retrieved June 24, 2012.
  13. ^ a b "George Brett Statistics and History". Baseball-Reference.com. Sports Reference. Retrieved May 8, 2012.
  14. ^ Associated Press (September 30, 2007). "Baseball: Rollins joins 20-20-20-20 club". Honolulu Advertiser. Retrieved December 8, 2010. Phillies star Jimmy Rollins tripled against Washington on today and joined Curtis Granderson, Willie Mays and Frank "Wildfire" Schulte as the only players in major league history with 20 stolen bases, 20 homers, 20 triples and 20 doubles.
  15. ^ Kirby, Tim (September 9, 2007). "Granderson steals way to elite class". MLB.com. MLB Advanced Media. Retrieved June 16, 2012.
  16. ^ "Tigers lock up outfielder Granderson with five-year, $30.25M deal". ESPN. ESPN Internet Ventures. February 4, 2008. Retrieved June 16, 2012. He joined Willie Mays and Frank "Wildfire" Schulte as the only players in major league history with 20 steals, 20 homers, 20 triples and 20 doubles. Philadelphia shortstop Jimmy Rollins became a part of the 20-20-20-20 club later in the season.
  17. ^ Koney, Jackie; Silva, Deidre (2008). It Takes More Than Balls: The Savvy Girls' Guide to Understanding and Enjoying Baseball. Skyhorse Publishing. pp. 66–67. ISBN 978-1-60239-631-9. Retrieved September 23, 2011.
  18. ^ Grant, Evan (July 16, 2010). "Bengie Molina on cycle: 'Being slow has never been a joke for me'". Dallas Morning News. Archived from the original on January 30, 2012. Retrieved June 23, 2012.
  19. ^ a b DiComo, Anthony (June 20, 2011). "Reyes turning the triple into an art form". MLB.com. MLB Advanced Media. Retrieved June 23, 2012. Citi Field['s] high walls and quirky outfield dimensions...has certainly played a role in the frequency of Reyes' triples, not only allowing a greater percentage of them to fall safely on the outfield grass, but also ensuring that only a few of his line drives will clear the fence for homers.
    The only thing a hitter can control...is his baserunning effort
  20. ^ Wertz, Dennis M. (October 1979). "The Most Exclusive Club in the Majors: Since 1900, only four players have collected 20 doubles, triples, and homers in one season". Baseball Digest. Evanston, Illinois: Century Publishing. 38 (10): 60–61. ISSN 0005-609X. Retrieved July 6, 2012. It may sound like an eye test for a three-eyed monster in a sci-fi movie, but the combination of 20-20-20 is the criterion for membership in one of baseball's most exclusive clubs.
  21. ^ "Jeff Heath Statistics and History". Baseball-Reference.com. Sports Reference. Retrieved May 8, 2012.
  22. ^ a b "Willie Mays Statistics and History". Baseball-Reference.com. Sports Reference. Retrieved May 8, 2012.
  23. ^ a b "Curtis Granderson Statistics and History". Baseball-Reference.com. Sports Reference. Retrieved May 8, 2012.
1979 Major League Baseball season

The 1979 Major League Baseball season. None of the post-season teams of 1977 or 1978 returned to this year's postseason. In a re-match of the 1971 World Series, the Pittsburgh Pirates defeated the Baltimore Orioles in seven games in the 1979 World Series.

1979 in baseball

The following are the baseball events of the year 1979 throughout the world.

2007 Detroit Tigers season

The Detroit Tigers 2007 season ended with the 88-74 Tigers finishing runner-up in the AL Central Division, eight games in back of the AL Central Champion Cleveland Indians. They failed in winning the Wild Card, a task which they achieved in 2006, and going on to win the AL Pennant.

After a trip to the 2006 World Series that ended with a defeat to the St. Louis Cardinals, the Tigers started the offseason by trading pitchers Humberto Sánchez, Kevin Whelan, and Anthony Claggett to the New York Yankees for outfielder and designated hitter Gary Sheffield. Plus, they re-signed players from the previous season's team; first baseman Sean Casey, second baseman Omar Infante, outfielder Craig Monroe, left-handed starting pitcher Nate Robertson, and right-handed relief pitcher Fernando Rodney all returned with the Tigers for the 2007 season.

2007 in baseball

The following are the baseball events of the year 2007 throughout the world.

30–30 club

In Major League Baseball (MLB), the 30–30 club is the group of batters who have collected 30 home runs and 30 stolen bases in a single season. Ken Williams was the first to achieve this, doing so in 1922. He remained the sole member of the club for 34 years until Willie Mays achieved consecutive 30–30 seasons in 1956 and 1957. Bobby Bonds became the club's fourth member in 1969 and became the first player in MLB history to reach the 30–30 club on three occasions and ultimately on five occasions, subsequently achieving the milestone in 1973, 1975, 1977 and 1978. He remained the only player to accomplish this until 1997, when his son Barry Bonds achieved his fifth 30–30 season. The most recent players to reach the milestone are José Ramírez and Mookie Betts, who achieved the feat during the 2018 season.

In total, 40 players have reached the 30–30 club in MLB history and 13 have done so more than once. Of these 40 players, 27 were right-handed batters, eight were left-handed and five were switch hitters, meaning they could bat from either side of the plate. The Cincinnati Reds, Cleveland Indians, Colorado Rockies and New York Mets are the only franchises to have three players reach the milestone. Five players—Hank Aaron, Barry Bonds, Willie Mays, Alex Rodriguez and Sammy Sosa—are also members of the 500 home run club, and Aaron, Mays and Rodriguez are also members of the 3,000 hit club. Dale Murphy, Jose Canseco, Barry Bonds, Larry Walker, Jimmy Rollins, Braun and Betts won the Most Valuable Player (MVP) Award in the same year as their 30–30 season, with Bonds achieving this on two occasions (1990 and 1992). Both Mays and Rollins also reached the 20–20–20 club in the same season. Four different players accomplished 30–30 seasons in 1987, 1996, 1997 and 2011, the most in a single season.Due to the rarity of a player excelling in the combination of hitting home runs and stealing bases, Baseball Digest called the 30–30 club "the most celebrated feat that can be achieved by a player who has both power and speed." Of the 22 members eligible for the Baseball Hall of Fame, five have been elected and two were elected on the first ballot. Eligibility requires that a player has "been retired five seasons" or deceased for at least six months, disqualifying nine active players and six players who have been retired for less than five seasons.

40–40 club

In Major League Baseball (MLB), the 40–40 club is the group of batters who have collected 40 home runs and 40 stolen bases in a single season. Jose Canseco was the first to achieve this, doing so in 1988 after having predicted the feat in April of that year. The most recent player to reach the milestone is Alfonso Soriano, achieving the feat during the 2006 season.

In total, only four players have reached the 40–40 club in MLB history and none have done so more than once. Of these, three were right-handed batters and one was left-handed. Two players—Barry Bonds and Alex Rodriguez—are also members of the 600 home run club. Jose Canseco is the only player to have won the MVP Award in the same year of his 40–40 season; he's also the only one to lead his club to the postseason making it to the World Series. Alfonso Soriano collected 41 doubles alongside achieving 40–40. Rodriguez is the only non-outfielder to attain 40–40.

All four 40-40 club members had at least 400 career home runs and 200 stolen bases.

Becoming a member of the 40–40 club is an elusive achievement in modern American baseball, as players who possess the power to hit 40 home runs and the speed to steal 40 bases in a season are rare. Generally a player with the strength to hit 40 home runs will not have nearly the speed necessary to steal 40 bases, and vice versa. This remains true even as statistical trends change in baseball — stolen base totals in the 1980s were unusually high, but very few players reached 40 home runs; home run totals were extremely high in the late 1990s, but stolen bases became more rare as the steal was a sparingly used tactic. Bonds achieved the feat when his body was lean and quick, before his body grew thicker.Due to the modernity of the 40–40 club, as well as the links to the use of performance-enhancing drugs by Bonds, Canseco and Rodriguez, no eligible club members have been elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame. Eligibility requires that a player has "been retired five seasons" or deceased for at least six months, disqualifying active players. With Rodriguez's retirement in 2016, there are no active players that have achieved a 40-40 season. Bonds remains on the Hall of Fame Ballot, and Soriano will be eligible for the Hall of Fame in 2020.

Bonds and Canseco were both implicated in the December 2007 Mitchell Report, while Rodriguez admitted in 2009 to using steroids. Soriano is also the only player to achieve the feat while playing at home. After stealing a base in an October 2, 2015 game for the NC Dinos, first baseman Eric Thames became the first player to join the Korea Baseball Organization's 40–40 club.

Curtis Granderson

Curtis Granderson Jr. (born March 16, 1981) is an American professional baseball outfielder for the Miami Marlins of Major League Baseball (MLB). He previously played for the Detroit Tigers, New York Yankees, New York Mets, Los Angeles Dodgers, Toronto Blue Jays, and Milwaukee Brewers.

Granderson played college baseball at the University of Illinois at Chicago, and was selected by the Tigers in the 2002 MLB draft. He made his MLB debut with the Tigers in 2004, and signed a contract extension with Detroit in 2008. After the 2009 season, he was traded to the Yankees. After his contract expired following the 2013 season, he signed a four-year contract with the Mets. In the final season of the contract, the Mets traded him to the Dodgers. Granderson signed with the Blue Jays for the 2018 season.

Granderson is a three-time MLB All-Star, and won a Silver Slugger Award in 2011. Off the field, Granderson is recognized for his commitment to the community through outreach and charity work. Many of his charitable endeavors support inner-city children. He has also served as an ambassador for MLB abroad. Granderson has won the Marvin Miller Man of the Year Award three times and the Roberto Clemente Award in 2016 in recognition of his contributions in the community.

Frank Schulte

Frank M. "Wildfire" Schulte (September 17, 1882 – October 2, 1949) was an American right fielder in Major League Baseball who played for the Chicago Cubs, Pittsburgh Pirates, Philadelphia Phillies, and Washington Senators from 1904 to 1918. He helped the Cubs win four National League (NL) championships and two World Series. In 1911, he won the NL Chalmers Award, the precursor to the Major League Baseball Most Valuable Player Award.

George Brett

George Howard Brett (born May 15, 1953) is a retired American baseball third baseman and designated hitter who played 21 years in Major League Baseball (MLB) for the Kansas City Royals.

Brett's 3,154 career hits are the most by any third baseman in major league history and 16th all-time. He is one of four players in MLB history to accumulate 3,000 hits, 300 home runs, and a career .300 batting average (the others being Hank Aaron, Willie Mays, and Stan Musial; Albert Pujols currently fulfills all three conditions, but is still an active player). He was inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1999 on the first ballot and is the only player in MLB history to win a batting title in three different decades.

Brett was named the Royals' interim hitting coach in 2013 on May 30, but stepped down from the position on July 25 in order to resume his position of vice president of baseball operations.

Jeff Heath

John Geoffrey "Jeff" Heath (1 April 1915 – 9 December 1975) was a Canadian-born American left fielder in Major League Baseball (MLB) who played most of his career for the Cleveland Indians.

He was one of the American League's most promising power hitters of the late 1930s and early 1940s, twice led the AL in triples, and batted at least .340 with over 100 runs batted in (RBIs) each time. In 1941 he was selected to his first All-Star Game and that same season became the first player from the American League to become a member of the 20–20–20 club when he hit 20 each of doubles, triples and home runs in the same season. His other All-Star Game selections were in 1943 and 1945.

Heath played for the Washington Senators and St. Louis Browns during the 1946 season and the National League's (NL) Boston Braves beginning in 1948. He incurred a compound fracture to his ankle in September 1948 and subsequently the Braves were without their starting left fielder for the 1948 World Series. In 1949, Heath's last season in the majors, sportswriter Franklin Lewis wrote, "There was the inimitable Heath who...should have been one of the greatest players in history. But there were no valves on his temper. He grinned in the manner of a schoolboy or he snarled with the viciousness of a tiger."

Jim Bottomley

James Leroy Bottomley (April 23, 1900 – December 11, 1959) was an American professional baseball player. A first baseman, Bottomley played in Major League Baseball from 1922 through 1937 for the St. Louis Cardinals, Cincinnati Reds, and St. Louis Browns. He also served as player-manager for the Browns in 1937. Playing for the Cardinals against Brooklyn at Ebbets Field on September 16, 1924, Bottomley set the all-time single game RBI record with 12.Born in Oglesby, Illinois, Bottomley grew up in Nokomis, Illinois. He dropped out of high school at the age of 16 to raise money for his family. While he was playing semi-professional baseball, the Cardinals scouted and signed Bottomley. He won the League Award, given to the most valuable player, in 1928, and was a part of World Series championship teams in 1926 and 1931. Bottomley played for the Cardinals through the 1932 season, after which he was traded to the Reds. After playing for Cincinnati for three years, he played two more seasons with the Browns.

After finishing his playing career with the Browns, Bottomley joined the Chicago Cubs organization as a scout and minor league baseball manager. After suffering a heart attack, Bottomley and his wife retired to raise cattle in Missouri. Bottomley was nicknamed "Sunny Jim" because of his cheerful disposition. Bottomley was elected to the National Baseball Hall of Fame in 1974 by the Veterans Committee and to the Cardinals Hall of Fame in 2014.

Jimmy Rollins

James Calvin Rollins (born November 27, 1978), nicknamed "J-Roll", is an American former professional baseball shortstop, who played in Major League Baseball (MLB) for the Philadelphia Phillies (2000–2014), Los Angeles Dodgers (2015), and Chicago White Sox (2016).

After growing up in Alameda, California, and attending Encinal High School, Rollins was drafted by the Phillies in the second round of the 1996 MLB draft. After spending most of five seasons with Phillies minor league teams, he made his big league debut on September 17, 2000.

At the MLB level, it wasn’t long before Rollins earned recognition as an excellent defensive shortstop. In 2001, he became the Phillies' leadoff hitter, a role he retained for almost ten years. Rollins made three All-Star Game appearances in his career. While with the Phillies, he compiled a 38-game hitting streak, which spanned the end of the 2005 season and the start of the 2006 season, the longest in team history. Rollins was named the National League (NL) Most Valuable Player (MVP) in 2007, as the Phillies won their division in the first of five consecutive seasons. He was also a key component of the 2008 World Series champion team that defeated the Tampa Bay Rays.In his career, Rollins led the NL four times in triples, and once each in runs, stolen bases, and stolen base percentage. As of 2018, he was the Phillies career leader in at bats (8,628), hits (2,306), doubles (479), and power-speed number (292.5), second in games played (2,090) and stolen bases (453), and third in runs scored (1,325), triples (111), and stolen base percentage (82.66). Rollins won the Gold Glove Award four times, as well as the Silver Slugger Award, and the Roberto Clemente Award (once each).

Lakeland Flying Tigers

The Lakeland Flying Tigers are a minor league baseball team based in Lakeland, Florida.

Home games are played at Publix Field at Joker Marchant Stadium; opened in 1966 and most recently renovated in 2017. The park, which also doubles as the Detroit Tigers spring training home, seats 8,500 fans. It plays in the Florida State League and has been the High-A affiliate of the Tigers since 1963, one of the two longest unbroken affiliate relationships currently existing. Until November 2006, the team was known as the Lakeland Tigers, with branding similar to the parent club. However the team originated in 1960 as the Lakeland Indians, an affiliate of the Cleveland Indians. After a one-year hiatus, the team was restarted in 1962 as the Lakeland Giants, and an affiliate of the San Francisco Giants.

In 1997, playing with the Flying Tigers, Gabe Kapler led the Florida State League in doubles and total bases, and tied for first in extra base hits.In 2012, the Flying Tigers won their first FSL title in 20 years by defeating the Jupiter Hammerheads, three games to two. It was the fourth league title in club history.

List of Major League Baseball doubles records

Major League Baseball has various records related to doubles.

Players denoted in boldface are still actively contributing to the record noted.

(r) denotes a player's rookie season.

List of Major League Baseball home run records

This is a list of some of the records relating to home runs hit in baseball games played in the Major Leagues. Some Major League records are sufficiently notable to have their own page, for example the single-season home run record, the progression of the lifetime home run record, and the members of the 500 home run club. A few other records are kept on separate pages, they are listed below.

In the tables below, players denoted in boldface are still actively contributing to the record noted, while (r) denotes a player's rookie season.

List of Major League Baseball longest losing streaks

This is a list of the longest team losing streaks in Major League Baseball history. Streaks started at the end of one season are carried over into the following season. Two lists are provided—one with streaks that consist entirely of regular-season games and one with streaks of playoff games only.

The 1889 Louisville Colonels hold the record for the longest losing streak in official MLB history at 26 games, though the 1875 Brooklyn Atlantics lost 31 consecutive games in the National Association, a number that is not considered official by MLB. In the modern two-league era, the longest losing streak belongs to the 1961 Philadelphia Phillies at 23 games. In the American League, the 1988 Baltimore Orioles hold the record at 21 games. The longest ever losing streak consisting entirely of postseason games belongs to the Boston Red Sox, who following their historic loss in the 1986 World Series were swept in three consecutive postseason appearances from 1988 to 1995, losing a total of 13 games in a row.

The longest losing streak by a defending World Series Champion is 11 by both the 1998 Florida Marlins (Now Miami Marlins) (2x) and the 1986 Kansas City Royals.

List of Major League Baseball single-season triples leaders

Below is the list of 112 instances in which Major League Baseball players have hit 20 or more triples in a single season. Active players are in bold.

List of Major League Baseball statistical clubs

In Major League Baseball (MLB), a player joins a statistical club when he attains a certain milestone number in a specific statistical category. For milestones that encompass an entire career, batters must achieve 3,000 hits or 500 home runs; pitchers must amass 300 wins or 3,000 strikeouts. A fifth club exists for relief pitchers that have recorded 300 saves over a career. In addition, milestones achieved in a single season include hitting 50 home runs, while three other single-season statistical clubs—the 20–20–20 club, 30–30 club and 40–40 club — include achievements from multiple statistical categories.

Reaching any one of the four career milestone clubs is often described as a guarantee of eventual entry into the Baseball Hall of Fame.

Willie Mays

Willie Howard Mays, Jr. (born May 6, 1931), nicknamed "The Say Hey Kid", is an American former Major League Baseball (MLB) center fielder who spent almost all of his 22-season career playing for the New York/San Francisco Giants, before finishing with the New York Mets. He is regarded as one of the greatest baseball players of all time and was elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1979.

Mays won two National League (NL) Most Valuable Player (MVP) awards, he ended his career with 660 home runs—third at the time of his retirement and currently fifth all-time—and won a record-tying 12 Gold Glove awards beginning in 1957, when the award was introduced.Mays shares the record of most All-Star Games played with 24, with Hank Aaron and Stan Musial. In appreciation of his All-Star record, Ted Williams said "They invented the All-Star Game for Willie Mays."Mays' career statistics and his longevity in the pre-performance-enhancing drugs era have drawn speculation that he may be the finest five-tool player ever, and many surveys and expert analyses, which have examined Mays' relative performance, have led to a growing opinion that Mays was possibly the greatest all-around offensive baseball player of all time. In 1999, Mays placed second on The Sporting News's "List of the 100 Greatest Baseball Players", making him the highest-ranking living player. Later that year, he was also elected to the Major League Baseball All-Century Team. Mays is one of five National League players to have had eight consecutive 100-RBI seasons, along with Mel Ott, Sammy Sosa, Chipper Jones, and Albert Pujols. Mays hit over 50 home runs in 1955 and 1965, representing the longest time span between 50-plus home run seasons for any player in Major League Baseball history. His final Major League Baseball appearance came on October 16 during Game 3 of the 1973 World Series.

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