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Happy Birthday Willie Mays - he's 90 today!
Posted by: hal
Date: May 06, 2021 10:52AM
Say HEY! Glad some of my boyhood heroes are still around. I got to see him play a couple of times at Dodgers Stadium in his last years with the giants.

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Re: Happy Birthday Willie Mays - he's 90 today!
Posted by: JoeM
Date: May 06, 2021 11:36AM
I didn’t realize that he was still alive. I was really happy to see he was this morning on the news.



JoeM
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Re: Happy Birthday Willie Mays - he's 90 today!
Posted by: mikebw
Date: May 06, 2021 11:43AM
Yeah that's great, hope he is doing OK.
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Re: Happy Birthday Willie Mays - he's 90 today!
Posted by: Buzz
Date: May 06, 2021 04:01PM
Willie was already my favorite player growing up in SF before the Giants/Dodgers moved West. When he came to my hometown, baseball couldn't get any better. Kinda hated the Dodgers for several years before heading South over fifty years ago, then after I was here for awhile, I realized the Dodgers were likeable after all (at least until the Fox/McCourt years). Willie owned the Dodgers for most of his Giants' career, which made the rivalry fun.

Happy Birthday #24, you've always been one of a kind. My favorite number has been "12" since I was a kid, because as a little guy watching Willie rob Vic Wertz in the '54 World Series, I thought it would be cool if I could grow up and play baseball half as well as Willie; hence half of 24, "12" became aspirational due to heroics on the field. I was lucky enough to meet Willie in the mid 1960's and told him how he had inspired me..., because a younger family friend was unlucky enough to get hit by a car while riding his bicycle, ouch! His well-connected dad pulled some strings and got Willie to show up at the rehab facility (in Oakland, while the A's were still in KC) to pay the injured young fan a visit. Here's a pic I took that day; Willie, my mother, and our young friend (with a nasty cast up to his hips). You can figure out who's who.
cool smiley



Thanks for the memories....
==
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Re: Happy Birthday Willie Mays - he's 90 today!
Posted by: hal
Date: May 06, 2021 04:10PM
wow - that's a priceless memory, Buzz

thanks for sharing the pic
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Re: Happy Birthday Willie Mays - he's 90 today!
Posted by: Speedy
Date: May 06, 2021 06:29PM
Buzz, shows what a great guy Willie is. Great get, too.



Saint Cloud, Minnesota, where the weather is wonderful even when it isn't.
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Re: Happy Birthday Willie Mays - he's 90 today!
Posted by: polychrome
Date: May 06, 2021 11:48PM
What a great experience, Buzz. Willie Mays is my favorite player as well. Hitting and defense, he did it all. Greatest player ever. I got to watch him play at Candlestick. That cold and windy park prevented him from owning home run records.
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Re: Happy Birthday Willie Mays - he's 90 today!
Posted by: Buzz
Date: May 07, 2021 11:58AM
Willie's definitely a great guy. Our family friend got a lot of gifts after getting crunched, including some Batman note pads based on the original 1960's TV show. Willie signed a few personal notes (and a couple of baseballs) for me, including one on a Batman note that has a purple border (y'all know Batman purple...), a couple of Batman logos, and the pre-printed saying, "I'm Bats About You" on it. Willie wrote some kind stuff, and signed it with the green felt tip coloring pen that can be seen next to the little TV. All the choices were his. Nobody will ever do it better.
==
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Re: Happy Birthday Willie Mays - he's 90 today!
Posted by: Cary
Date: May 07, 2021 10:31PM
Willie Mays was my favorite player, too. I grew up a Mets fan (grew up in Flushing...), and was excited when the Mets traded for him, even though he was a shadow of himself by then.

Here's my Willie Mays story: for my birthday, my dad (who was an immigrant, and not a sports fan) took my brother, a couple of friends and me to a Mets game (1973, I believe). We were in the mezzanine level by 3rd base.

WI!lie came up to bat, he proceeded to have a long at bat, fouling off multiple balls straight back behind home plate into the stands.

After 5 or 6 of those fouls straight back, my dad stood up, and, in his heavily accented English, SCREAMED, "Turn the bum around!"

It felt like everyone in Shea turned around and stared at us. I was really embarrassed, and wanted to disappear. I tried to explain to my dad who Willie Mays was, and how great he was. My dad didn't really care for baseball, and didn't really get why I cared.

In retrospect, I appreciate my dad taking us to the game, and that memory is what I remember most about that day.



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 05/07/2021 10:31PM by Cary.
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