Willie Mays is arguably the greatest player in baseball history, still revered for the passion he brought to the game. He began as a teenager in the Negro Leagues, became a cult hero in New York, and was the headliner in Major League Baseball's bold expansion to California. He was a blend of power, speed, and stylistic bravado that enraptured fans for more than two decades. Now. James Hirsch reveals the man behind the player.
Mays was a transcendent figure who received standing ovations in enemy stadiums and who, during the turbulent civil rights era, urged understanding and reconciliation. More than his records, his legacy is defined by the pure joy that he brought to fans and the loving memories that have been passed to future generations so they might know the magic and beauty of the game. With meticulous research and drawing on interviews with Mays himself as well as with close friends, family, and teammates, Hirsch presents a brilliant portrait of one of America's most significant cultural icons.
"Willie Mays had everything--except a first-rate biography. That omission has now been addressed by James S. Hirsch, who has produced a piece of artistry worhty of Mays in center field." (Bloomberg.com)
"James Hirsch has written an enormously entertaining and wide-ranging biography - a fitting tribute to Mays... and a thoughtful account of the complex and often misunderstood man.... True baseball fans will delight in the author's edge-of-seat game reports and picture-perfect descriptions of Mays' superlative talents.... This is a superb baseball book, but it's also a riveting narrative of Mays' life and times." (Seattle Times)
"A terrific new biography... [an] always engaging and enlightening book... A wonderful introduction to the magical life of one of the finest athletes ever." (San Francisco Chronicle)
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Mays Still Hits The Ball Out of the Park
Yes. The book did a very good job of giving a broad spectrum view of a simple, hard working man, who overcame much, remained very humble and did a lot of good for humanity, even to this day at age 80
His caring for Johnny Roseboro durning a brawl between the Giants and Dodgers showed the depth of his character and his humanness.
He brought old memories back to life as if they were actually happening anew.
Hearing of Mays' care for his ailing wife, who has now, just recently, passed away.
All baseball fans deserve to learn about Willie Mays and to see how he contributed in a very different way than "Number 21" in bringing the black athlete up in society in general.
if you are a giants fan a must read
only if they like baseball
I grew up in the bay area so I am biased
- Don Smith