Some players are simply more focused when the game is on the line. Willie Mays built a reputation for making big plays at big times, and there are few plays bigger than an extra-innings home run.
On June 22, 1951, Mays connected on a pitch from reliever Dutch Leonard in the top of the tenth to give the New York Giants a win over the Chicago Cubs. It was the first of 22 extra-innings home runs in Mays’ career.
Mick Gillispie told the story of Mays’ impressive overtime record alongside Smokies owner Randy Boyd during the Smokies’ contest with the Chattanooga Lookouts on Sunday afternoon.