Baseball Digest this year is launching a new award, the Lifetime Achievement Award. It will be presented annually to a living person whose contributions to the sport are deemed worthy. They have announced the inaugural winner is Wille Mays, who turns 90 on May 6.
The other finalists included the late Hank Aaron (I presume the nomination predates Aaron’s passing away in January), Roland Hemond, Rachel Robinson, Vin Scully, and Joe Torre.
Not that I need to remind anybody about how great Mays was, but it’s fun to type that he was on 24 All Star teams, had 12 Gold Gloves, 2 MVP awards, hit .302/.384/.587, 660 homers, 3283 hits, 338 stolen bases (led the league 4 times), OPS+ 156, 156.1 WAR.
Just an aside…an acquaintance recently told me he had a Willie Mays rookie card, but like so many, his card collection was purged while he was away in college. I didn’t have the heart to tell him that one in near mint condition would be worth about $500,000.