Nov. 9, 1965
Willie Mays of the San Francisco Giants won the National League’s Most Valuable Player award for the second time. Mays, a native of Westfield in Jefferson County, is regarded as one of the top players in major league history, and in 1965 had one of his best seasons. He hit a career-high 52 home runs, drove in 112 runs and had a .317 batting average. Also during that season, he hit his 500th career home run. However, the Giants finished in second place in the NL, behind the eventual World Series champion Los Angeles Dodgers. The MVP award was the second for Mays, who also received the honor in 1954.
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Willie Mays (1931-) is a baseball legend who began his career in Alabama. Adept at the plate and in the field, he played for the Birmingham Black Barons before signing with the New York Giants in 1950. Mays went on to dominate the major leagues, with a .302 career batting average, 3,283 hits, and 660 home runs. He was voted most valuable player in 1954 and 1965, won 12 Gold Glove awards, and made 24 appearances at the All-Star game. He was inducted into the National Baseball Hall of Fame in 1979. (From Encyclopedia of Alabama, courtesy of Birmingham Public Library Archives. Courtesy of Faye Davis)
Willie Mays shown here with Roy Campanella, a Hall of Fame catcher who played for the Brooklyn Dodgers in the 1940s and 1950s. Campanella’s career was cut short when he was paralyzed in an auto accident in 1958. (From Encyclopedia of Alabama, courtesy of Library of Congress)
American baseball player Willie Mays of the San Francisco Giants, circa 1965. (Photo by Archive Photos/Getty Images)
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