Willie Mays’ bat is as iconic a piece of sports memorabilia as we can imagine. Mays, known as “The Say Hey Kid”, was a 24 time All-Star and produced a home record few thought would ever be broken. He won Rookie of the Year, 12 Gold Gloves and was the league MVP twice. With such abundant, well documented success, it is impossible to add to his story here. But, we will add some insight on his bat. For what it is worth, below is the compilation of data we found on Willie Mays’ Bat.
|Louisville Slugger||35||33.1, 33.2, 34||Ash||S2||1955. 1960 – 1968|
|Rawlings Adirondack||35||31.2 , 35.5||Ash||M63||1961|
Willie Mays’ Historic At Bat
The most written about at bat by Willie Mays was on September 22, 1969. On that day, he joined Babe Ruth in the 600 Club on a deep left field shot in San Diego. He only hit 13 home runs that year and that was his last. There isn’t a baseball source on the planet that hasn’t written about that moment.
But, what many don’t remember is that Mays would have and should have reached the 600 mile stone a few years earlier. Enter the Korean War. With the war, his 1952 season was cut short, and his 1953 season was nonexistent. Had his 1952 through 1954 HR totals—which looked like this: 20, 4, 0, 41—-looked like an entirely reasonable progression like this: 20, 24, 30, 41, then the story of Willie May’s 600 home run would sound like this:
On June 13th, 1967 the Giants faced the Astros in an extra inning game. Willie Mays would DH for Bob Schroder in the 6th and play the rest of the game. At 599 home runs, Willie hit into a double play to end the 6th. In the 8th, with another chance to be the 2nd in the 600 club, Willie flew out to right field.
Now in extra innings, Mays would approach the right side of the plate in the top of the 10th with bases loaded. Barry Latman, the 10 year journeyman and 2 time All Star, would pitch from the stretch. At 6 foot 3 inches, he’d tower over the 5 foot 10 Willie Mays. On a 2-2 fastball, Mays would drive the ball into deep left field for number 600. (In reality, that was the story of Mays’ 550th home run).
Willie Mays’ Bat Model
Like many players of his era, including Mickey Mantle, Willie Mays rotated between his Louisville Slugger and Adirondack. Although we assume he used more than just two models total, we could only find evidence of the famed S2 from Louisville and the M63 from the Adirondack Rawlings line.
Willie Mays’ Bat Size
Both bats were a consistent 35 inches in all the auctions we could find. The weights varied a bit. The lightest
Game Used Willie Mays Bats
It is almost impossible to find Willie Mays’ home run bats. The one pictured above came on his 38th home run of the 1965 season. 1965 he also hit his 500th home run. Bats like this range in the $50,000 to $125,000 marks.