Before Mays' trade to the Yankees, he was struck in the head with a ball thrown by catcher Wally Schang, who was trying to throw to second base to get a base stealer. Mays walked out on his team, stating that he would never pitch for them again. After about 10 days, a deal between the Red Sox and Yankees was agreed upon. The only problem was American League President Ban Johnson did not approve of the trade, as he wanted Mays suspended indefinitely for walking out on his teammates. All this happened before the Chapman incident. After hitting Chapman, there was suspicion that Mays was involved with the possible fixing of games. Though nothing was ever proven, it lead to Mays being seldom used during the Yankees Championship 1923 season and not being used in the 1923 World Series
The hardest thing to do is separate Mays the person and Mays the pitcher. Mays the person was not good. Mays the pitcher was very good. He was the first post-1900 pitcher to win 20 games in each league. He finished his career with 208 wins and a winning percentage of .623. More than half of his career was spent in the live ball era, and he finished with a career ERA of 2.92 in over 3000 innings. He was a member of the 1915, 1916 and 1918 Boston Red Sox teams that won the World Series and was on the first two Yankees teams to win an AL Pennant in 1921 and 1922. His career numbers are right up there with many pitchers that are in the Hall of Fame. In fact I would bet there is not an eligible pitcher with a .623 or higher winning percentage and 200 plus wins that is in the Hall of Fame not named Roger Clemens. If I am incorrect on that, please let me know.
I am curious to see how much is the word that Mays may have been involved in fixing games. It was never proven, and he was never subpoenaed to address the charges. If that was more defined, I would understand. To not have him in the Hall of Fame because he was a jerk makes no sense. Ty Cobb was a jerk. Guys like Eddie Murray and Jim Rice refused to speak to the ones who have the votes to put them in. All are in though and I think Mays should be in also.