Willie Mays leaves mark on baseball’s biggest postseason award

Willie Mays is the best there ever was, with a legacy stamped by the picture of World Series glory.

To honor the 86-year-old living legend, Major League Baseball announced today that starting in the 2017 postseason, the World Series MVP will now be called the “Willie Mays World Series Most Valuable Player.” Commissioner Robert Manfred said in a statement:

“Since making ‘The Catch’ on September 29, 1954, Willie has been a part of World Series history. This annual recognition will forever celebrate the life and career of a legend of the National Pastime.”

Mays made ‘The Catch’ — which sparked the Giants’ four-game sweep of the Cleveland Indians capping the New York team’s 1954 championship season — one year before the league began awarding World Series MVPs.

Mays played in three other World Series, but never won another. Mays said in a statement:

“Baseball has always taken care of me, and for that I am grateful. I think it’s just a wonderful thing to know that at 86 years of age, I can still give something back to the game. I am proud to lend my name to this important award. What a day this has been!!”


Shayna Rubin is SFBay’s San Francisco Giants beat writer. Follow @SFBay and @ShaynaRubin on Twitter and at SFBay.ca for full coverage of Giants baseball.