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Home » History

The historic signing of Willie Mays revealed – MLB – Yahoo! Sports

Submitted by on June 21, 2010 – 9:19 pm

Okay, baseball fans, get your wallet out and head to Amazon, because the book that this story is based on sounds like a must-read.

Editor’s note: Sixty years ago Monday 19-year-old Willie Mays of the Birmingham Barons was signed by the New York Giants. The circumstances that led to the Giants discovering the future Hall-of-Famer provide a previously untold glimpse into the wild-west mentality that prevailed among scouts and major league teams combing the already declining Negro League for talent.

When the New York Giants signed Willie Mays, they paid his Negro Leagues team $10,000. Mays got only $4,000. When the Giants scouted Mays, they feigned interest in another player to hide their affection with him. Everything about Mays’ courtship seems so foreign today, starting with the method by which the deal was completed.

A Western Union telegram arrived at the Memphis office of Tom Hayes at 9:53 a.m. June 21, 1950. Hayes had made his fortune in the mortuary business, but he was about to give life to one of the greatest careers in baseball history.

read the entire article here:  via The historic signing of Willie Mays revealed – MLB – Yahoo! Sports.

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