Louisville Slugger Museum Presents Willie Mays 24 at 75

Willie Mays, who wore number 24 during his stellar Major League career, celebrates his 75th birthday on May 6, 2006. Louisville Slugger Museum marks the occasion with a new exhibit entitled Willie Mays: 24 at 75, Celebrating the “Say Hey Kid.” The exhibit opens January 10 and runs through March 25, 2006. It features 18 original works of art depicting scenes and themes from Mays’ life. The artwork is complemented by artifacts on loan from the private collection of Ron Leff. The show also includes never-before-exhibited photography, interactive stations and a birthday greeting for visitors to sign which will be sent to Mays.

“We’re thrilled to share so many amazing items that celebrate the life and career of one of baseball’s brightest stars,” said Anne Jewell, executive director of Louisville Slugger Museum. “He was an extraordinary athlete and a fascinating, complex man who overcame some tremendous hurdles.”

The artwork and artifacts in the “Willie Mays: 24 at 75” exhibit provide a unique perspective into the life and career of the living legend. The show not only pays tribute to the “Say Hey Kid” and celebrates his 75th birthday, but also depicts the success story of a genuine American icon.

Mays was born on May 6, 1931 in Westfield, Alabama. He played centerfield throughout most of his career and is considered one of the greatest baseball players of all time. A master of every facet of the game, he finished his 24- year career with a lifetime batting average of .302. He pelted 660 home runs and had 1902 runs batted in. Mays was elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1979. His jersey, number 24, was retired by the San Francisco Giants.

His career began in the Negro Leagues, with the Birmingham Black Barons. Even though Jackie Robinson had broken the color barrier in Major League Baseball in 1947, that did not end discrimination and prejudice against other African Americans, like Mays, who followed Robinson into the Majors. Mays played for the New York Giants from 1951 1957, the San Francisco Giants from 1958-1972 and the New York Mets from 1972-1973. He was the first African American team captain in Major League Baseball.

Willie Mays got his nickname, the “Say Hey Kid,” because “Say Hey” was a phrase he often used to get attention from people whose names he did not know.

Louisville Slugger Museum is open for tours (including Museum exhibits, the Louisville Slugger bat factory and gift shop) Monday – Saturday from 9 a.m. – 5 p.m., year round, and Sunday from noon – 5 p.m. during the months of April through November. Cost is $9 for adults, $8 for seniors ages 60+, $4.00 for children ages 6-12, and free for children 5 and under. Call (502) 588-7228 or visit http://www.sluggermuseum.org for more information.

The mission of Louisville Slugger Museum is to celebrate and communicate the extraordinary role of the Louisville Slugger in baseball’s past, present and future.

Via PRNewswire

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