The World Series Most Valuable Player Award will now be tied to one of the all-time greats of the game: Willie Mays. Major League Baseball announced Friday that the award has been renamed the Willie Mays World Series Most Valuable Player in honor of the Hall of Famer. It will continue to be presented by the award's longtime sponsor, Chevrolet.
Friday is the 63rd anniversary of Mays making the most famous catch in baseball history -- his legendary over-the-head basket catch deep in center field at the Polo Grounds in Game 1 of the 1954 World Series.
"Major League Baseball is thrilled to honor Willie Mays on our game's biggest stage and in a manner that befits his many contributions to the sport," MLB Commissioner Rob Manfred said in a statement. "Since making 'The Catch' on Sept. 29, 1954, Willie has been a part of World Series history. This annual recognition will forever celebrate the life and career of a legend of the national pastime."
The World Series MVP was first awarded in 1955, the year after Mays' catch. Mays played in four World Series himself during his 22-year Major League career, winning a championship with the Giants in that '54 Fall Classic.
Now 86 years old, Mays was honored as one of baseball's four "Greatest Living Players" at the 2015 All-Star Game, along with Hank Aaron, Johnny Bench and Sandy Koufax. He also received the Presidential Medal of Freedom from President Barack Obama later that year.
David Adler is a reporter for MLB.com based in New York. Follow him on Twitter at @_dadler. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.