Members Login
Username 
 
Password 
    Remember Me  
Post Info TOPIC: WILLIE MAYS ...


Hall of Famer

Status: Offline
Posts: 1537
Date:
WILLIE MAYS ...


As we all grow from a young boy to who we become as a man, there are those who influence us in the evolution of our being.

When you begin that journey, that evolution can take varying paths. Mine was baseball - ever since I signed up for Little League at age 10 in 1960. You sometimes suffer a bit of a heartache when you finally realize your dream of playing in the pros is never going to happen. Of course, mine came pretty early, but the love of the game never ceases.

Willie Mays' love of the game never ceased, but HIS talents got him enshrined into MLB's Hall of Fame. No one played the game with the spirit and joy of a young boy as he did even up till the day he retired. Even in his first old-timers game, Mays, in his first at-bat, slugged one into the bleachers and rounded the bases with the little boy enthusiasm that was his trademark.

You know your heroes as though they were a family member. Mays born May 6 in Westfield, Ala. His first MLB hit - a bomb off fellow Hall of Famer Warren Spahn. As Mays' Manager Leo Durocher tells it, Mays began his MLB career going 0-12 for the New York Giants. The center-fielder went into Durocher's office in tears saying he doesn't think he can play in the majors. Durocher erased any thoughts of Mays' self-doubt and simply said, "As long as I'm here, you are my center-fielder.'' From there, Mays went on to become, at least in this man's opinion, the greatest player of all time. If Jerry West is the logo of the NBA, then Mays' catch off Vic Wertz should be the logo for MLB.

Mays' stats are eye-popping: .302 career average, 660 home runs, 3283 hits, 2062 runs, 1903 RBIs, 338 stolen bases, 24 All-Star appearances, 12 Golden Gloves, 2 MVPs, a World Series MVP, 11 different years not making an error, the first player in history to be a member of the 30/30 club (HRs/SBs) and on and on ...

Today, a part of my youth passed away when I woke up to hear the news that Willie Mays has left us at the age of 93. Mays never smoked or drank. He believed in keeping his 5-10, 170-lb. frame in the condition that respected the game he loved to play.

What I will vividly remember most is not his career, but his welcoming and warm reception he offered when presented the opportunity to interview him while working for the Daily Press, a newspaper in Newport News. Va., in 1985. He frequently greeted people by saying "Say Hey,'' which became the moniker "Say Hey Kid.'' I will never forget him getting me as such.

RIP "Say Hey Kid'' and thank you for the memories.

jimk









__________________


Three Star Guru

Status: Offline
Posts: 417
Date:

Wonderful and well deserved tribute Jimmy K. Appreciated !

__________________
Jim Edelman


Senior Member

Status: Offline
Posts: 159
Date:

All the great centerfielders of our older generation have now departed for the field of dreams.

Attachments
__________________


Guru

Status: Offline
Posts: 274
Date:

Very nicely written, JIm. Thank you.

I was a centerfielder as a nine-year-old. I had three heroes: Mantle, Mays and Snider. On any day,
I could be any one of them, and glad for the experience. Thanks for the photo, Tim.

-Mike



__________________


Senior Member

Status: Offline
Posts: 156
Date:

Great write-up JK! Willie was my father's favorite player and he passed that down to me along with so much more. I thought a lot about my Father last night and a special day at Shea Stadium that we shared, as we were in attendance together on Mother's Day in 1972 as Mays made his Mets debut. (I still have my ticket) After 21 years as a Giant, Mays made his first start as a Met on that rainy day against his former team and in the bottom of the fifth, Willie hit a line drive home run over the left field fence for his first hit as a Met, which turned out to be the game winning hit! I'll never forget the joy of that moment. RIP #24 Say Hey!

__________________


Hall of Famer

Status: Offline
Posts: 1537
Date:

Did anyone happen to notice the final score of last night's Giants-Cards game at Rickwood Field in Birmingham, Ala.

Giants 5, Cardinals 6

Mays was born on May 6.

If you missed the game, you missed one of the great generational telecasts of your time: Pre-game, game and post-game.

Hope it's replayed at some point.

jk









__________________


Senior Member

Status: Offline
Posts: 135
Date:

Here's my first glove from 1971 - a "Willie Mays" model.

Attachments
__________________


Senior Member

Status: Offline
Posts: 156
Date:

That glove is awesome Mike, restrung and ready for Matinee action!

__________________
Page 1 of 1  sorted by
 
Quick Reply

Please log in to post quick replies.

Tweet this page Post to Digg Post to Del.icio.us


Create your own FREE Forum
Report Abuse
Powered by ActiveBoard