Saturday, September 13, 2014

Willie Mays Reaches The 500 Home Run Plateau September 13, 1965

On this day in Baseball History September 13, 1965: Willie Mays of the San Francisco Giants hits his 500th career home run making him the fifth player to reach the 500 home run plateau. Mays led the fourth inning against Houston Astros starter Don Nottebart with a drive into the center-field stands at the Houston Astrodome. At this time in Baseball History, the 500 home run club was a small one made up of the following members:
  1. Babe Ruth August 11, 1929
  2. Jimmie Foxx September 24, 1940
  3. Mel Ott August 1, 1945
  4. Ted Williams June 17, 1960
Mays would become the first African-American and first former Negro Leaguer to reach the 500 home run plateau. Here is the boxscore for September 13, 1965 match up between the San Francisco Giants and the Houston Astros:

Mays would finish the 1965 season with a league leading 52 home runs and would pass Mel Ott on both the All-Time Home Run list and the National League home run list on May 4, 1966. Mays would remain the National League All-Time hit list until he was passed by Hank Aaron on June 10, 1972.

Mays would retire after the 1973 season with the New York Mets and would be inducted into the National Baseball Hall of Fame in 1979 with 94.7% of the vote (409/432 ballots).

Mays truly was one of the best in the game. A player truly worth of the five-tool label. Players come and go, but there will only ever be one Willie Mays.

Until Then Keep Playing Ball,
Baseball Sisco

For Further Reading:
- Click here to access Willie Mays' career statistics from Baseball