Willie Howard Mays, Jr. was born on this date in Westfield, Alabama; 1931. Before having an illustrious 22 year Hall of Fame career in Major League baseball which began in 1951, Willie Mays played with the Negro League’s Birmingham Black Barons. As a 17 year old teenager, Mays was the center fielder for the Barons as they won the 1948 Negro American League pennant. In the last Negro League World Series played, the Barons lost to the Homestead Grays that year four games to one. After playing for the Barons in 1949, Willie Mays was signed as an amateur free agent by the New York Giants in 1950.