Friday, February 26, 2010

Sey Hey

I only wish I could have seen Willie Mays play ball. Listening to old timers wax poetic about a supremely gifted and good guy who lit up every stadium with joy, style and plays that defied imagination, Mays, to me, epitomized what was good about baseball way back in the '50s. The best time, IMHO, would be watching Willie do The Catch in 1954 against Vic Wertz and the heavily favored Cleveland Indians in Game 1 of the World Series at the Polo Grounds, a feat recognized as one of the greatest ever accomplished in the annuals of sport. (The Giants swept the series in four.)

Pete Hamil, who just reviewed the James L Hirsch book titled Willie Mays, the Life, the Legend in the NYTimes says it best...

"A long time ago in America, there was a beautiful game called baseball. This was before 30 major-league teams were scattered in a blurry variety of divisions; before 162-game seasons and extended playoffs and fans who watched World Series games in thick down jackets; before the D.H. came to the American League; before AstroTurf on baseball fields and aluminum bats on sandlots; before complete games by pitchers were a rarity; before ballparks were named for corporations instead of individuals; and long, long before the innocence of the game was permanently stained by the filthy deception of steroids.

In that vanished time, there was a ballplayer named Willie Mays."

'Nuff said.
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