World Series MVP Award Renamed After Willie Mays

SAN FRANCISCO (CBS SF) – With the postseason about to start, Major League Baseball announced that the World Series Most Valuable Player award has been renamed in honor of Giants legend and Hall of Famer Willie Mays.

MLB commissioner Rob Manfred made the announcement on Friday, the 63rd anniversary of Mays making the famous over-the-shoulder grab in Game 1 of the 1954 World Series which became known as “The Catch.”

In that series, the Giants went on to sweep Cleveland, the franchise’s last World Series championship before moving from New York to San Francisco. The Giants wouldn’t win the World Series again until winning three championships in 2010, 2012 and 2014.

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

Baseball began honoring the most valuable player in the World Series starting in 1955.

SAN FRANCISCO, CA - OCTOBER 31: Willie Mays, former San Francisco Giants great, waves to the crowd along the parade route during the San Francisco Giants World Series victory parade on October 31, 2012 in San Francisco, California. The San Francisco Giants beat the Detroit Tigers to win the 2012 World Series. (Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images) *** Local Caption *** Willie Mays

Willie Mays (credit: Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)

On Friday, the Giants tweeted a statement from Mays expressing gratitude for the honor.

“I think it’s a wonderful thing to show 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,” Mays said in part.

Signed by the Giants in 1950, Mays’ accomplishments in baseball cannot be understated. “The Say Hey Kid” was a two-time National League Most Valuable Player, played in a record-tying 24 All-Star games, won 12 consecutive Gold Gloves and finished his career with 660 home runs.

Mays was inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1979.

Tim Fang is a digital producer for CBS San Francisco and a native of the Bay Area. Follow him on Twitter @fangtj.

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