May 6, 1931
The world first said “Hey” to the “Say Hey Kid” on May 6, 1931. Born in the community of Westfield, Alabama, Mays was a multi-sport star for Fairfield Industrial High School near Birmingham. His professional career began sooner than his 1950 graduation, as he played Negro Leagues baseball for clubs in Chattanooga and Birmingham. Several major league franchises started bidding for his services, and he ended up with the New York Giants’ farm team in Trenton, New Jersey.
He didn’t stay there for long, getting the call-up to the Giants in May 1951, the first of his 22 seasons in the majors. He finished his career with the New York Mets, with a lifetime batting average of .302, and more than 3,200 base hits. He remains fifth on the all-time MLB home run list with 660.
Read more at Encyclopedia of Alabama.
For more on Alabama’s Bicentennial, visit Alabama 200.