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 in the Negro Leagues 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.