Tag Archives: Willie Mays

A STORY FROM JAN 17TH IN BASEBALL HISTORY – MAYS DEFENDS OWNERS

TODAY’S STORY TAKES US BACK TO SAN FRANCISCO IN 1970. 

Baseball great Willie Mays spoke out in favor of major league baseball owners on this date in baseball history.
 
The San Francisco Giant outfielder told broadcaster and former player Joe Garagiola, “If players control the game it is going to be bad. Owners must make some money, too.”
 
Mays’ comments were in reference to Curt Flood. The St. Louis Cardinals traded Flood to the Philadelphia Phillies. Flood refused to report in protest of baseball’s reserve clause which put the player’s future totally in the hands of the team that held his contract.
 
Mays didn’t criticize Flood, only saying, “That’s a personal thing. For myself I want to stay in San Francisco, but if the Giants traded me I would go.”
 
Flood sued Major League Baseball and the case went all the way to the United State Supreme Court. The Court ruled against Flood in 1972, saying that Major League Baseball was exempt from antitrust laws. But the case paved the way for free agency.
 
Flood only played 13 more games in his career and retired at age 33. Willie Mays was traded to the New York Mets in 1972. He retired in 1973.
Contributing source:
 Jack Hanley, The Daily Review, Hayward, California, January 18, 1970

April 30th-Mays joins prestigious group

DSCN21301961 | MILWAUKEE, WISCONSIN – Here’s something you don’t see everyday – 4 home runs by the same guy in a 9-inning game. On this date in 1961, Willie Mays became just the 5th player in major league baseball’s modern era (since 1901) to do it, as his San Francisco Giants beat the Milwaukee Braves (today’s Atlanta Braves) 14-4.

Baseballs flew out of Milwaukee County Stadium on that Sunday afternoon in Wisconsin. Besides Mays’ 4 round-trippers, teammate Jose Pagan hit 2 home runs, as did Henry Aaron of the Braves. Solo shots were hit by the Giants’ Orlando Cepeda and Felipe Alou.

As of this writing [April 29, 2017], 11 players have hit four home runs in 9-inning games in the modern era:

Lou Gehrig, New York Yankees June 3, 1932  (9)
Gil Hodges, Brooklyn Dodgers August 31, 1950  (9)
Joe Adcock, Milwaukee Braves July 31, 1954  (9)
Rocky Colavito, Cleveland Indians June 10, 1959 (9)
Willie Mays, San Francisco Giants – April 30, 1961 (9)
Bob Horner, Atlanta Braves – July 6, 1986 (9)
Mark Whiten, St. Louis Cardinals – September 7, 1993 (9)
Mike Cameron, Seattle Mariners – May 2, 2002 (9)
Shawn Green, Los Angeles Dodgers – May 23, 2002 (9)
Carlos Delgado, Toronto Blue Jays – September 25, 2003 (9)
Josh Hamilton, Texas Rangers – May 8, 2012 (9)

Several years usually pass between 4-home run games, but only 21 days separated Mike Cameron’s and Shawn Green’s displays of power in 2002.

Chuck Klein (1936), Pat Seerey (1948) and Mike Schmidt (1976) have also each hit 4 home runs in one game, but they needed extra innings to do it.

No one has ever hit 5 home runs in one game.

CONTRIBUTING SOURCES:
MLB hitting leaders
Baseball-Almanac