Batting .477 in 35 games and playing excellent defense, Mays was called up to the Giants on May 24, 1951.Mays was at a movie theater in Sioux City, Iowa when he found out he was being called up.Mays was in the on-deck circle when Bobby Thomson hit the Shot Heard 'Round the World against Ralph Branca and the Brooklyn Dodgers to win the three-game playoff 2-1 after the teams were tied at the end of the regular season.The Giants went on to meet the New York Yankees in the 1951 World Series.The United States Army drafted Mays in 1952 during the Korean War (1950–53) and he subsequently missed most of that season and all of the 1953 season.Mays spent much of his time in the Army playing baseball at Fort Eustis, Virginia.
It was said that in the urban game of hitting a rubber ball with an adapted broomstick handle, Mays could hit a shot that measured "six sewers" (the distance of six consecutive New York City manhole covers, nearly 300 feet).
Later that year, he was also elected to the Major League Baseball All-Century Team.
Mays is one of five National League players to have had eight consecutive 100-RBI seasons, along with Mel Ott, Sammy Sosa, Chipper Jones, and Albert Pujols.
Mays won two National League (NL) Most Valuable Player (MVP) awards, ended his career with 660 home runs - third at the time of his retirement and currently fifth all-time - and won a record-tying 12 Gold Glove awards beginning in 1957, when the award was introduced.
Mays' career statistics and his longevity in the pre-performance-enhancing drugs era have drawn speculation that he may be the finest five-tool player ever, and many surveys and expert analyses, which have examined Mays' relative performance, have led to a growing opinion that Mays was possibly the greatest all-around baseball player of all time.s "List of the 100 Greatest Baseball Players", making him the highest-ranking living player.