Mays won two MVP awards and tied a record with 24 appearances in the All-Star Game. He ended his career with 660 career home runs, third at the time of his retirement, and currently fourth all-time. In 1999, Mays placed second on The Sporting News 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 the only Major League player to have hit a home run in every inning from the 1st through the 16th. He finished his career with a record 22 extra-inning home runs. Mays is one of five NL players to have eight consecutive 100-RBI seasons, along with Mel Ott, Sammy Sosa, Chipper Jones and Albert Pujols. Mays hit 50 or more home runs in both 1955 and 1965. This time span represents the longest stretch between 50 plus home run seasons for any player in Major League Baseball history.
Mays' first Major League manager, Leo Durocher, said of Mays: "He could do the five things you have to do to be a superstar: hit, hit with power, run, throw, and field. And he had that other ingredient that turns a superstar into a super superstar. He lit up the room when he came in. He was a joy to be around."
Upon his Hall of Fame induction, Mays was asked who was the best player that he had seen during his career. Mays replied, "I thought I was." Ted Williams once said "They invented the All-Star Game for Willie Mays."
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