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MLB names World Series MVP Award in Honor of Willie Mays

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Major League Baseball just announced that it has renamed the World Series Most Valuable Player Award in honor of Willie Mays. Beginning with the 2017 World Series, the MVP of the Fall Classic will now be recognized as the “Willie Mays World Series Most Valuable Player.”

The announcement comes on the 63rd anniversary of “The Catch” Mays made in the 1954 World Series on a deep fly ball off of Vic Wertz in the Polo Grounds. The throw that came after it was almost as amazing. As was the fact that the Giants beat a 111-win Cleveland Indians team in four straight games.

There was no World Series MVP Award that year. It officially began in 1955, though the BBWAA’s Babe Ruth Award for the best postseason performance dates back to 1949. It still exists too but, unlike most other awards in which the BBWAA honor is seen as more prestigious than the MLB honor, no one really cares much about that while many fans can name multiple World Series MVP winners. It probably has to do with the fact that the World Series MVP Award is handed out the night of the final game of the World Series when everyone is excited whereas the Babe Ruth Award is given out weeks later after everyone is in offseason mode.

Some irony about it all? The Catch notwithstanding, Willie Mays was actually pretty terrible in the World Series. He hit a combined .239/.308/.282 in four World Series, and his teams lost three of those four Series. We’ll let that slide, though, because (a) he’s Willie Freakin’ Mays; and (b) The Catch is something far better-remembered than whoever had a great batting line in any given World Series.

Report: Mets showing interest in Bartolo Colon

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Last month, free agent right-hander Bartolo Colon told reporters that he’d be open to taking a minor league deal in 2018, but only if he was guaranteed a return to the Mets’ system. The 44-year-old starter is nearing the end of a 20-year career, and it makes sense that he’d want to have one last hurrah in the city where he had some of his most productive years.

Now, Twins starter Ervin Santana tells Mike Berardino of the Pioneer Press, it looks like the Mets might also be open to a reunion. It’s doubtful that Colon has all that much left in the tank, especially following a combined 7-14 record and 6.48 ERA for the Braves and Twins last year, but he’s not necessarily looking to reproduce the 15+ win, sub-4.00 ERA totals of years past.

Instead, Santana says, Colon is seeking the opportunity to win just six more games. He’ll enter the 2018 season five wins shy of the all-time record for a Latin American-born player, and is hoping to claim that title for himself before he enters retirement in 2019. Former Orioles and Expos hurler Dennis Martinez currently holds the record after clinching his 245th win back in 1998. While it took Colon a full season of starts to come up with even seven wins in 2017, he’s only one year removed from a 15-win campaign in 2016. Provided that the Mets are willing to gamble on him again, the milestone may not be that far out of reach.