Other Free Encyclopedias » Famous Sports Stars » Baseball » Willie Mays Biography - Growing Up, A Way Out, Tough Times In The North, Chronology, The First Full Season - Several Father Figures, CONTACT INFORMATION

Willie Mays - Chronology

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1931 Born May 6 in Fairfield, Alabama, the only child of William Howard and Anna Sattlewhite Mays
1934 Moves with his father after parents divorce; remains close to his mother
1937 Begins education in segregated school in Alabama
1944 Plays semiprofessional baseball at age 13 with the Gray Sox
1946 Enters Fairfield Industrial High School, takes courses in dry cleaning
1946 Plays center field for Birmingham Industrial League while his father plays left field
1947 Begins play for Birmingham Black Barons, playing baseball with men ten years his senior
1948 Makes professional Negro Leagues debut on July 4
1950 Graduates from Fairfield High School
1950 New York Giants buy out Mays' Black Barons Contract. He is youngest black man ever signed by the major leagues
1950 Racial bias in Sioux City prevents Mays from joining their minor league team
1950 Puts up impressive numbers with Class B Inter-State League in Trenton, New Jersey, hitting .477 and 8 home runs in 35 games
1951 Becomes #3 batter in Giants' starting lineup on May 25
1952 Drafted by U.S. Army in May. Continues to play baseball
1954 Receives honorable discharge and returns to Giants
1954 Makes spectacular over-the-shoulder no-look catch, known simply as "The Catch"
1954 Makes appearances on Ed Sullivan Show and Colgate Comedy Hour
1955 Bus boycott in Alabama, started by Rosa Parks, gains world's attention
1955 Moves to Englewood, New Jersey
1956 Marries Marguerite Wendell
1957 New York Giants move to San Francisco
1958 Adopts infant son Michael
1963 Divorces Marguerite Wendell
1964 Appointed captain of the Giants
1965 Becomes national spokeperson for the Job Corps
1965 Mays remains silent and uninvolved in Civil Rights struggles, says "I don't picket … I'm not mad at the people who do. Maybe they shouldn't be mad at the people who don't"
1971 Marries Mae Louise Allen
1972 Traded to New York Mets
1973 Retires from Baseball
1973-79 Becomes coach and goodwill ambassador for New York Mets; would become public relations worker and make public appearances on behalf of many companies in 1980s and 1990s
1974 Inducted into the Black Hall of Fame
1979 Only player inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame this year
2000 Honored with "Say Hey Day" at Pacific Bell Park in San Francisco
2002 Sees his godson, San Francisco Giants left fielder Barry Bonds, make it to the World Series
Willie Mays - The First Full Season [next] [back] Willie Mays - Tough Times In The North

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