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It is not clear how Mays became known as the "Say Hey Kid". One story is that in 1951, Barney Kremenko, a writer for the New York Journal, having overheard Mays blurt "'Say who,' 'Say what,' 'Say where,' 'Say hey,'" proceeded to refer to Mays as the 'Say Hey Kid'.

The other story is that Jimmy Cannon created the nickname because, when Mays arrived in the minors, he did not know everyone's name. "You see a guy, you say, 'Hey, man. Say hey, man,' " Mays said. "Ted [Williams] was the 'Splinter'. Joe [DiMaggio] was 'Joltin' Joe'. Stan [Musial] was 'The Man'. I guess I hit a few home runs, and they said there goes the 'Say Hey Kid.'"

Years before he became the "Say Hey Kid," when he began his professional career with the Black Barons, Willie was called "Buck" by team mates and fans.

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13y ago
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13y ago

Barney Kremenko, a sports writer for the New York Journal American newspaper, noticed that Mays was reticent during his rookie season of 1951. Kremenko said Mays "would blurt 'Say who,' 'Say what,' 'Say where,' 'Say hey.' In my paper, I tabbed him the 'Say Hey Kid.' It stuck."

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Q: How did Willie Mays get his nickname?
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Which MLB player had the nickname Say Hey?

Willie Mays.


When did Willie Mays get the nickname The Say Hey Kid?

Willie Mays got his nickname, the "Say Hey Kid," because "Say Hey" was a phrase he often used to get attention from people whose names he did not know.


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Willie Mays Of the New York/SF Giants Was the"Say Hey Kid". Willie Finished his career with the New York Mets.


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