In 1999, the Major League Baseball All-Century Team was chosen by popular vote of fans. To select the team, a panel of experts first compiled a list of the 100 greatest Major League Baseball players from the past century. Over two million fans then voted on the players using paper and online ballots.
The top two vote-getters from each position, except outfielders (nine), and the top six pitchers were placed on the team. A select panel then added five legends to create a thirty-man team:—Warren Spahn (who finished #10 among pitchers), Christy Mathewson (#14 among pitchers), Lefty Grove (#18 among pitchers), Honus Wagner (#4 among shortstops), and Stan Musial (#11 among outfielders).
The nominees for the All-Century team were presented at the 1999 All-Star Game at Fenway Park. Preceding Game 2 of the 1999 World Series, the members of the All-Century Team were revealed. Every living player named to the team attended.
For the complete list of the 100 players nominated, see The MLB All-Century Team.
|Votes||Number of votes|
|*||'Legends' chosen by select panel|
|**||Player still active in 1999|
|ö||Player is deceased|
|†||Elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame|
|Lou Gehrig†ö||First baseman||1,207,992|
|Mark McGwire**||First baseman||517,181|
|Jackie Robinson†ö||Second baseman||788,116|
|Rogers Hornsby†ö||Second baseman||630,761|
|Mike Schmidt†||Third baseman||855,654|
|Brooks Robinson†||Third baseman||761,700|
|Cal Ripken, Jr.†**||Shortstop||669,033|
|Ken Griffey, Jr.†**||Outfielder||645,389|
There was controversy over the inclusion in the All-Century Team of Pete Rose, who had been banned from baseball for life 10 years earlier. Some questioned Rose's presence on a team officially endorsed by Major League Baseball, but fans at the stadium gave him a standing ovation. During the on-field ceremony, which was emceed by Hall of Fame broadcaster Vin Scully, NBC Sports' Jim Gray questioned Rose about his refusal to admit to gambling on baseball. Gray's interview became controversial, with some arguing that it was good journalism, while others objected that the occasion was an inappropriate setting for Gray's persistence. After initially refusing to do so, Gray apologized a few days later. On January 8, 2004, more than four years later, Rose admitted publicly to betting on baseball games in his autobiography My Prison Without Bars.
This is a list of award winners and league leaders for the Atlanta Braves professional baseball franchise, including its years in Boston (1871–1952) and Milwaukee (1953–1965).Bill Terry
William Harold Terry (October 30, 1898 – January 9, 1989) was a Major League Baseball first baseman and manager. He stood 6 feet 1 inch (1.85 m) tall and weighed 200 pounds (91 kg). Terry was inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1954. In 1999, he ranked number 59 on The Sporting News list of the 100 Greatest Baseball Players, and was a nominee for the Major League Baseball All-Century Team. The Giants retired Terry's uniform number 3 in 1984; it is posted on the facade of the upper deck in the left field corner of AT&T Park. Nicknamed "Memphis Bill", he is most remembered for being the last National League player to hit .400, a feat he accomplished by batting .401 in 1930.Billy Williams
Billy Leo Williams (born June 15, 1938) is a retired American baseball left fielder who played 16 seasons in Major League Baseball (MLB) for the Chicago Cubs and 2 seasons for the Oakland Athletics. Williams was inducted into the National Baseball Hall of Fame in 1987. In 1999, he was named a finalist for the Major League Baseball All-Century Team.
Williams was the 1961 National League (NL) Rookie of the Year and was an NL All-Star for six seasons with the Cubs. In 1970, he had a .322 batting average with 42 home runs and 129 runs batted in (RBI), led the NL with 205 hits, and was the NL Most Valuable Player runner-up. In 1972, he won the NL batting title while hitting .333. Williams hit more than 400 home runs in his career, including 30 or more in 5 seasons. He also hit above .300 in five seasons and had over 100 RBI in three seasons.
Williams was a highly competitive player on Cubs teams that never reached the postseason. When he finally played in the postseason during the second-to-last year of his career with the Athletics, the A's did not get to the World Series. In 1999, he was selected as a member of the Cubs All-Century Team.Bob Gibson
Robert Gibson (born November 9, 1935) is an American retired baseball pitcher who played 17 seasons in Major League Baseball (MLB) for the St. Louis Cardinals (1959–75). Nicknamed "Gibby" and "Hoot" (after actor Hoot Gibson), Gibson tallied 251 wins, 3,117 strikeouts, and a 2.91 earned run average (ERA) during his career. A nine-time All-Star and two-time World Series champion, he won two Cy Young Awards and the 1968 National League (NL) Most Valuable Player (MVP) Award. In 1981 he was elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame in his first year of eligibility. The Cardinals retired his uniform number 45 in September 1975 and inducted him into the team Hall of Fame in 2014.
Born in Omaha, Nebraska, Gibson overcame childhood illness to excel in youth sports, particularly basketball and baseball. After briefly playing under contract to both the basketball Harlem Globetrotters team and the St. Louis Cardinals organization, Gibson decided to continue playing only baseball professionally. Once becoming a full-time starting pitcher in July 1961, Gibson began experiencing an increasing level of success, earning his first All-Star appearance in 1962. Gibson won two of three games he pitched in the 1964 World Series, then won 20 games in a season for the first time in 1965. Gibson also pitched three complete game victories in the 1967 World Series.
The pinnacle of Gibson's career was 1968, when he posted a 1.12 ERA for the season and then followed that by recording 17 strikeouts during Game 1 of the 1968 World Series. Over the course of his career, Gibson became known for his fierce competitive nature and the intimidation factor he used against opposing batters. Gibson threw a no-hitter during the 1971 season, but began experiencing swelling in his knee in subsequent seasons. After retiring as a player in 1975, Gibson later served as pitching coach for his former teammate Joe Torre. At one time a special instructor coach for the St. Louis Cardinals, Gibson was later selected for the Major League Baseball All-Century Team in 1999. Gibson is the author of the memoir Pitch by Pitch, with Lonnie Wheeler (Flatiron Books, 2015).Brooks Robinson
Brooks Calbert Robinson Jr. (born May 18, 1937) is an American former professional baseball player. He played his entire 23-year major league career for the Baltimore Orioles (1955–1977), which still stands as the record for the longest career spent with a single team in major league history. He batted and threw right-handed, though he was a natural left-hander. Nicknamed "The Human Vacuum Cleaner" or "Mr. Hoover", he is considered one of the greatest defensive third basemen in major league history. He won 16 consecutive Gold Glove Awards during his career, tied with pitcher Jim Kaat for the second-most all-time for any player at any position. Robinson was elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1983.Cal Ripken Jr.
Calvin Edwin Ripken Jr. (born August 24, 1960), nicknamed "The Iron Man", is an American former baseball shortstop and third baseman who played 21 seasons in Major League Baseball (MLB) for the Baltimore Orioles (1981–2001). One of his position's most offensively productive players, Ripken compiled 3,184 hits, 431 home runs, and 1,695 runs batted in during his career, and he won two Gold Glove Awards for his defense. He was a 19-time All-Star and was twice named American League (AL) Most Valuable Player (MVP). Ripken holds the record for consecutive games played, 2,632, surpassing Lou Gehrig's streak of 2,130 that had stood for 56 years and that many deemed unbreakable. In 2007, he was elected into the National Baseball Hall of Fame in his first year of eligibility and currently has the fifth highest voting percentage of all time (98.53%).
Born in Maryland, Ripken grew up traveling around the United States as his father, Cal Sr., was a player and coach in the Orioles' organization. After playing at Aberdeen High School, Ripken Jr. was drafted by the Orioles in the second round of the 1978 MLB draft. He reached the major leagues in 1981 as a third baseman, but the following year, he was shifted to shortstop, his long-time position for Baltimore. That year, Ripken also won the AL Rookie of the Year Award and began his consecutive games played streak. In 1983, he won a World Series championship and his first AL MVP Award. One of Ripken's best years came in 1991 when he was named an All-Star, won the Home Run Derby, and was recipient of his first All-Star Game MVP Award, his second AL MVP Award, and first Gold Glove Award. He broke the consecutive games played record on September 6, 1995, in his 2,131st consecutive game, which fans voted as the league's "most memorable moment" in the history of the game in an MLB.com poll; Ripken voluntarily ended his 17-year streak at 2,632 games, in 1998. He switched back to third base for the final five years of his career. In 2001, his final season, Ripken was named the All-Star Game MVP and was honored with the Commissioner's Historic Achievement Award.
Ripken is considered one of the best shortstops and third basemen in baseball history. At 6 ft 4 in (1.93 m), 225 lb (102 kg), he pioneered the way for the success of taller, larger shortstops. He holds the record for most home runs hit as a shortstop (345) breaking the record previously held by Ernie Banks and was selected as the starting shortstop for the Major League Baseball All-Century Team. Ripken is a best-selling author and the President and CEO of Ripken Baseball, Inc., whose goal is to grow the love of baseball from a grassroots level. Since his retirement, he has purchased three minor league baseball teams. He has been active in charity work throughout his career and is still considered an ambassador of the game. He lives in Annapolis, Maryland and is married to Laura Ripken, née Kaufman, a circuit court judge in Anne Arundel County, Maryland.Ernie Banks
Ernest Banks (January 31, 1931 – January 23, 2015), nicknamed "Mr. Cub" and "Mr. Sunshine", was an American professional baseball player who starred in Major League Baseball (MLB) as a shortstop and first baseman for the Chicago Cubs between 1953 and 1971. He was inducted into the National Baseball Hall of Fame in 1977, and was named to the Major League Baseball All-Century Team in 1999.
Banks is regarded by some as one of the greatest players of all time. He began playing professional baseball in 1950 with the Kansas City Monarchs in the Negro leagues. He served in the U.S. military for two years, played for the Monarchs again, and began his major league career in September 1953. The following year, Banks was the National League Rookie of the Year runner-up. Beginning in 1955, Banks was a National League (NL) All-Star for 11 seasons, playing in 13 of the 15 All-Star Games held during those years. Banks was the Cubs' main attraction in the late 1950s, the National League Most Valuable Player in 1958 and 1959, and the Cubs' first Gold Glove winner in 1960.
In 1962, Banks became a regular first baseman for the Cubs. Between 1967 and 1971, he was a player-coach. In 1969, through a Chicago Sun-Times fan poll, Cubs fans voted him the greatest Cub ever. In 1970, Banks hit his 500th career home run at Wrigley Field. He retired from playing in 1971, was a coach for the Cubs in 1972, and in 1982 was the team's first player to have his uniform number retired.
Banks was active in the Chicago community during and after his tenure with the Cubs. He founded a charitable organization, became the first black Ford Motor Company dealer in the United States, and made an unsuccessful bid for a local political office. In 2013, Banks was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom for his contribution to sports. Banks lived in the Los Angeles and Chicago areas.Larry Whiteside
Lawrence W. Whiteside (September 19, 1937 – June 15, 2007), nicknamed "Sides", was an African-American journalist known for his coverage of baseball for a number of American newspapers, most notably The Boston Globe.Lefty Grove
Robert Moses "Lefty" Grove (March 6, 1900 – May 22, 1975) was an American professional baseball pitcher. After having success in the minor leagues during the early 1920s, Grove became a star in Major League Baseball with the American League's Philadelphia Athletics and Boston Red Sox. One of the greatest pitchers in history, Grove led the American League in wins in four separate seasons, in strikeouts seven years in a row, and had the league's lowest earned run average a record nine times. Over the course of the three years from 1929 to 1931 he twice won the pitcher's Triple Crown, leading the league in wins, strikeouts, and ERA, while amassing a 79-15 record and leading the Athletics to three straight AL championships. Overall, Grove won 300 games in his 17-year MLB career. He was elected to the National Baseball Hall of Fame in 1947.Luis Aparicio
Luis Ernesto Aparicio Montiel (born April 29, 1934), nicknamed "Little Louie", is a former professional baseball player. He was a Major League Baseball (MLB) shortstop from 1956 to 1973, most notably for the Chicago White Sox. He became known for his exceptional fielding and base stealing skills, and is the first Venezuelan player to be inducted into the National Baseball Hall of Fame.Aparicio won the American League (AL) Rookie of the Year Award in 1956. He helped the "Go-Go" White Sox win the AL championship in 1959 and was the AL Most Valuable Player (MVP) runner-up that season (he led the AL in stolen bases, putouts, assists, and fielding as shortstop). He was an AL All-Star for ten seasons, an AL stolen base leader for 9 consecutive seasons, and an AL Gold Glove winner for 9 seasons.MLB legend Ted Williams called Aparicio "the best shortstop he had ever seen". He was nominated for the Major League Baseball All-Century Team (one-hundred greatest players) in 1999.Mickey Mantle
Mickey Charles Mantle (October 20, 1931 – August 13, 1995), nicknamed The Commerce Comet and The Mick, was an American professional baseball player. Mantle played his entire Major League Baseball (MLB) career (1951-1968) with the New York Yankees as a center fielder and first baseman. Mantle was one of the best players and sluggers and is regarded by many as the greatest switch hitter in baseball history. Mantle was inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1974 and was elected to the Major League Baseball All-Century Team in 1999.
Mantle was one of the greatest offensive threats of any center fielder in baseball history. He has the highest career OPS+ of any center fielder, and he had the highest stolen base percentage in history at the time of his retirement. In addition, compared to the other four center fielders on the All-Century team, he had the lowest career rate of grounding into double plays, and he had the highest World Series on-base percentage and World Series slugging percentage. He also had an excellent 0.984 fielding percentage when playing center field. Mantle was noted for his ability to hit for both average and power, especially tape measure home runs. He hit 536 MLB career home runs, batted .300 or more ten times, and is the career leader (tied with Jim Thome) in walk-off home runs, with a combined thirteen—twelve in the regular season and one in the postseason.
Mantle won the Triple Crown in 1956, when he led the Major Leagues in batting average (.353), home runs (52), and runs batted in (RBI) (130). He later wrote a book (My Favorite Summer 1956) about his best year in baseball. He was an All-Star for 16 seasons, playing in 16 of the 20 All-Star Games that were played. He was an American League (AL) Most Valuable Player (MVP) three times and a Gold Glove winner once. Mantle appeared in 12 World Series including seven championships, and he holds World Series records for the most home runs (18), RBIs (40), extra-base hits (26), runs (42), walks (43), and total bases (123).Paul Molitor
Paul Leo Molitor (born August 22, 1956), nicknamed "Molly" and "The Ignitor", is an American former Major League Baseball (MLB) player and former manager of the Minnesota Twins, who is in the Baseball Hall of Fame. During his 21-year baseball career, he played for the Milwaukee Brewers (1978–92), Toronto Blue Jays (1993–95), and Minnesota Twins (1996–98). He was known for his exceptional hitting and speed. He made seven All-Star Game appearances, and was the World Series MVP in 1993.
Molitor grew up in Minnesota and attended the University of Minnesota before beginning his MLB career. Molitor served as a coach for the Seattle Mariners and the Twins after his retirement as a player. In 2004, he was elected to the Hall of Fame in his first year of eligibility, becoming one of the first players enshrined after spending a significant portion of his career as a designated hitter. He was a finalist for the Major League Baseball All-Century Team. On November 3, 2014, Molitor was announced as the 13th manager of the Minnesota Twins. He managed the team for four seasons, and was fired in October 2018.Pie Traynor
Harold Joseph "Pie" Traynor (November 11, 1898 – March 16, 1972) was an American professional baseball player, manager, scout and radio broadcaster. He played his entire Major League Baseball (MLB) career (1920–37) as a third baseman with the Pittsburgh Pirates. He was inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1948.Following the Second World War, Traynor was often cited as the greatest third baseman in MLB history. In recent years his reputation has diminished, with the modern-era careers of third basemen such as Eddie Mathews, Brooks Robinson, Mike Schmidt and George Brett moving to the forefront in the memories of baseball fans.Shoeless Joe Jackson
Joseph Jefferson Jackson (July 16, 1887 – December 5, 1951), nicknamed "Shoeless Joe", was an American star outfielder who played Major League Baseball (MLB) in the early 1900s. He is remembered for his performance on the field and for his alleged association with the Black Sox Scandal, in which members of the 1919 Chicago White Sox participated in a conspiracy to fix the World Series. As a result of Jackson's association with the scandal, Kenesaw Mountain Landis, Major League Baseball's first commissioner, banned Jackson from playing after the 1920 season despite exceptional play in the 1919 World Series, leading both teams in several statistical categories and setting a World Series record with 12 base hits. Since then, Jackson's guilt has been fiercely debated with new accounts claiming his innocence, urging Major League Baseball to reconsider his banishment. As a result of the scandal, Jackson's career was abruptly halted in his prime, ensuring him a place in baseball lore.
Jackson played for three Major League teams during his 12-year career. He spent 1908–1909 as a member of the Philadelphia Athletics and 1910 with the minor league New Orleans Pelicans before joining the Cleveland Naps at the end of the 1910 season. He remained in Cleveland through the first part of 1915; he played the remainder of the 1915 season through 1920 with the Chicago White Sox. Later in life, Jackson played ball under assumed names throughout the south, including the 71st Service squadron in 1934 and winning the league title.
Jackson, who played left field for most of his career, currently has the third-highest career batting average in major league history. In 1911, Jackson hit for a .408 average. It is still the sixth-highest single-season total since 1901, which marked the beginning of the modern era for the sport. His average that year also set the record for batting average in a single season by a rookie. Babe Ruth said that he modeled his hitting technique after Jackson's.Jackson still holds the Indians and White Sox franchise records for both triples in a season and career batting average. In 1999, he ranked number 35 on The Sporting News' list of the 100 Greatest Baseball Players and was nominated as a finalist for the Major League Baseball All-Century Team. The fans voted him as the 12th-best outfielder of all-time. He also ranks 33rd on the all-time list for non-pitchers according to the win shares formula developed by Bill James.Stan Musial
Stanley Frank Musial (; born Stanisław Franciszek Musiał; November 21, 1920 – January 19, 2013), nicknamed Stan the Man, was an American baseball outfielder and first baseman. He spent 22 seasons in Major League Baseball (MLB) playing for the St. Louis Cardinals, from 1941 to 1944 and 1946 to 1963. Widely considered to be one of the greatest and most consistent hitters in baseball history, Musial was a first-ballot inductee into the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1969, and was also selected to the St. Louis Cardinals Hall of Fame in the inaugural class of 2014.
Musial batted .331 over the course of his career and set National League (NL) records for career hits (3,630), runs batted in (1,951), games played (3,026), at bats (10,972), runs scored (1,949) and doubles (725). His 475 career home runs then ranked second in NL history behind Mel Ott's total of 511. His 6,134 total bases remained a major league record until surpassed by Hank Aaron, and his hit total still ranks fourth all-time, and is the highest by any player who spent his career with only one team. A seven-time batting champion with identical totals of 1,815 hits at home and 1,815 hits on the road, he was named the National League's (NL) Most Valuable Player (MVP) three times and led St. Louis to three World Series championships. He also shares the major league record for the most All-Star Games played (24) with Hank Aaron and Willie Mays. Musial was born in Donora, Pennsylvania, where he frequently played baseball informally or in organized settings, and eventually played on the baseball team at Donora High School.
Signed to a professional contract by the St. Louis Cardinals as a pitcher in 1938, Musial had arm problems and performed erratically on the mound for two seasons. On the recommendation of minor league manager Dickie Kerr, Musial was converted into an outfielder and made his major league debut in 1941.
Noted for his unique batting stance, he quickly established himself as a consistent and productive hitter. In his first full season, 1942, the Cardinals won the World Series. The following year, he led the NL in six different offensive categories and earned his first MVP award. He was also named to the NL All-Star squad for the first time; he appeared in every All-Star game in every subsequent season he played. Musial won his second World Series championship in 1944, then missed the entire 1945 season while serving in the Navy.
After completing his military service during the war, Musial returned to baseball in 1946 and resumed his consistent hitting. That year he earned his second MVP award and third World Series title. His third MVP award came in 1948, when he finished one home run short of winning baseball's Triple Crown. After struggling offensively in 1959, Musial used a personal trainer to help maintain his productivity until he decided to retire in 1963. At the time of his retirement, he held or shared 17 major league records, 29 National League records, and nine All-Star Game records. Ironically, in 1964, the season following his retirement, the Cardinals went on to defeat the New York Yankees in an epic 7-game clash, for St. Louis' first World Series championship in nearly two decades (a team which included future Hall of Famer Lou Brock performing what would have likely been Musial's left field duties). In addition to overseeing businesses, such as a restaurant both before and after his playing career, Musial served as the Cardinals' general manager in 1967, winning the pennant and World Series, then quitting that position. He also became noted for his harmonica playing, a skill he acquired during his playing career. Known for his modesty and sportsmanship, Musial was selected for the Major League Baseball All-Century Team in 1999. In February 2011, President Barack Obama presented Musial with the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the highest civilian awards that can be bestowed on a person by the United States government.The Greatest Baseball Game Never Played
The Greatest Baseball Game Never Played was a 1982 simulated broadcast of a hypothetical baseball game between all-time Major League Baseball greats. The broadcast was aired on 200 radio stations in the United States and Canada and also released as a record album.
The simulated game was announced by Jack Buck and Lindsey Nelson and set in Philadelphia's Shibe Park. Following the format of the All-Star Game, it featured National League players against players from the American League. The National League won 5-4.Tris Speaker
Tristram Edgar Speaker (April 4, 1888 – December 8, 1958), nicknamed "The Grey Eagle", was an American professional baseball player. Considered one of the best offensive and defensive center fielders in the history of Major League Baseball (MLB), he compiled a career batting average of .345 (sixth all-time). His 792 career doubles represent an MLB career record. His 3,514 hits are fifth in the all-time hits list. Defensively, Speaker holds career records for assists, double plays, and unassisted double plays by an outfielder. His fielding glove was known as the place "where triples go to die."After playing in the minor leagues in Texas and Arkansas, Speaker debuted with the Boston Red Sox in 1907. He became the regular center fielder by 1909 and led the Red Sox to World Series championships in 1912 and 1915. In 1915, Speaker's batting average dropped to .322 from .338 the previous season; he was traded to the Cleveland Indians when he refused to take a pay cut. As player-manager for Cleveland, he led the team to its first World Series title. In ten of his eleven seasons with Cleveland, he finished with a batting average greater than .350. Speaker resigned as Cleveland's manager in 1926 after he and Ty Cobb faced game fixing allegations; both men were later cleared. During his managerial stint in Cleveland, Speaker introduced the platoon system in the major leagues.
Speaker played with the Washington Senators in 1927 and the Philadelphia Athletics in 1928, then became a minor league manager and part owner. He later held several roles for the Cleveland Indians. Late in life, Speaker led a short-lived indoor baseball league, ran a wholesale liquor business, worked in sales and chaired Cleveland's boxing commission. He was inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1937. He was named 27th in the Sporting News 100 Greatest Baseball Players (1999) and was also included in the Major League Baseball All-Century Team.Wade Boggs
Wade Anthony Boggs (born June 15, 1958) is an American former professional baseball third baseman. He spent his 18-year baseball career primarily with the Boston Red Sox, but he also played for the New York Yankees, with whom he won the 1996 World Series against the Atlanta Braves, and the Tampa Bay Devil Rays, with whom he reached 3,000 hits. His hitting in the 1980s and 1990s made him a perennial contender for American League batting titles. He is 33rd on the list of career leaders for batting average among Major League Baseball players with a minimum of 1,000 plate appearances, and has the highest ranking of those still alive. Boggs was elected to the Red Sox Hall of Fame in 2004 and the Baseball Hall of Fame in 2005.
With 12 straight All-Star appearances, Boggs is third only to Brooks Robinson and George Brett in number of consecutive appearances as a third baseman. In 1997, he ranked number 95 on the Sporting News list of the 100 Greatest Baseball Players and was a nominee for the Major League Baseball All-Century Team. Boggs, a 1976 graduate of Plant High School in Tampa, Florida, currently resides in the Tampa Palms neighborhood of Tampa.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.
Major League Baseball All-Century Team
|AL Division Series|
|NL Division Series|