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Posted (edited)

My god in this world, Willie Mays, is 90 years old today. I will celebrate this, not with some ol' man nostalgia tour, but by telling you what having #24 as my deity has taught me.

THE WORLD IS SOME BULL####

I knew the above as soon and surely in my life as that kisses are sweet and milk builds strong bones, simply because the Greatest Person in the World was a black man from Alabama who could not drink water........frikkin water.......wherever water was because some bald-faced bohunks took fulfilment out of degrading generation after generation of a society of men, women and children while proclaiming themselves the guardians of decency. Say hey, the world is some bull####!

WHO I AM IS MY COURAGE

Life is an immensity into which i interject my fury. How da heck do i do that?! By my fury not being a lie, by my fury being for good, by my fury being backed by all that i am and can do to make that better. Everything is a fly ball i can't reach until i thrive to the point where i can trust that i know that i can and, once corralled, will not stop for self-amazement or congratulation until the play is complete and i have thrown the ball in to my teammates to make a play. Say Hey, who i am is my courage!

MY PURPOSE IS MY JOY

I have been very lucky in my life. I have been very unlucky in my life. The best thing i can say about myself is that i was ready for both. I was ready because my hat flies off with everything i do. Falling into chances in showbiz, guided into public service by those who'd kept me safe & well, discovering that playing poker gave me the chance to ask & answer all my stoopit questions for fun & profit, being asked by loved ones to help them die with a minimum of suffering, my hat flew off circling every base before me. Say Hey, my purpose is my joy!

MY HUMILITY IS MY EXCELLENCE

Willie Mays didn't love kids because they loved him. Willie Mays loved him some kids because they love more, better, pure. I am not the world. I am no more miracle than anyone else, but enough of a miracle to owe its source the truest version of myself that i can give to the process of making those miracles. I have compiled an Honor Roll of traditional sins in my lifetime, but corruption has never been among them. I have striven to determine what is right and do just that, no matter personal cost, for all my days, and, to this point, i believe myself to have succeeded. The give is the get, and that is how you do it. Say Hey, my humility is my excellence!

Happy Birthday, Mr. Mays. Say Hey, many happy returns!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

 

Edited by wikkidpissah
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3 minutes ago, wikkidpissah said:

Life is an immensity into which i interject my fury. How da heck do i do that?! By my fury not being a lie, by my fury being for good, by my fury being backed by all that i am and can do to make that better.

I have compiled an Honor Roll of traditional sins in my lifetime, but corruption has never been among them.

:goodposting:

 

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I've probably told this story before.

Most sportswriters have a slow week between the AFC & NFC championships and then the Super Bowl two weeks later. That "hype week" before the big game is when the Baseball Writers Association holds their annual awards ceremony dinner to give out the Rookie of the Year, MVP, Cy Young, etc. awards & honor that year's Hall of Fame inductees. Back when I would go, it was at a Marriott in Manhattan, and all sorts of big-time ballplayers and sports celebrities would show up. For a hundred, one-fifty, per plate you could rub elbows with Don Mattingly, Spike Lee, Paul Simon, Doc Gooden, Yogi Berra, etc. Good times.

I went to one of these dinners in the early 90s, it happened to be about 40 years or so after the summer that Mickey Mantle, Willie Mays, and Duke Snider were the three outfielders in New York and all three showed up, and as it happened, it was one of the last years all three were alive and maybe one of the last times all three were in the same room together. They were up at the dais and telling jokes and stories in their speeches and it was a great time.

Then it came time to honor that year's award winners. Whoever it was that picked up the Cy Young that year accepted theirs, the ROY got his... and then it was time for the MVP awards. I think that year, the Big Hurt, Frank Thomas, was the AL winner and accepted his. The NL winner was Barry Bonds. He didn't show up to the ceremony, but, since Willie Mays was his godfather, he'd asked Willie to go up and give a speech on his behalf. 

So Mays gets up there for a second time, and proceeds to absolutely lay in to Barry. Rips him to pieces. "How big a jerk are you that all these nice people vote you the best player in the game and you can't even be bothered to show up to get the award?" kind of stuff. Bonds already had a bad reputation among sportswriters, and Willie taking their side really cemented it. He had everyone rolling and cheering. Hell of a show. 

 

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Posted (edited)

As a youngster racing for the morning paper to read the boxscores I always looked for Willie and Mickey's daily stats. At the time the opinion was one or the other was the best ballplayer. Well, here's to you Say Hey, living large!

 

Edited by Joe Mammy
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Posted (edited)

i don’t suppose there are many of them around, but my father was a NY Giant fan as a kid and his favorite player was Mays.  my father always wore 24.  said he was a kid coming home from school when everyone watched the game in a store window, of course that would be the 1952 game 3 playoff for the pennant against the dodgers.  Mays was on deck when Thomson hits into the lower deck.  he couldn’t understand why Branca didn’t walk thomson to face mays, who was still a rookie in 52 and playing terribly.  i won’t talk about mays on the 73 mets, a team that should’ve beaten the mighty a’s.  effin berra had seaver pitch game 6 on short rest up 3-2.  he should’ve left seaver on regular rest for game 7 against ken holtzman.  instead, they were forced to use matlack.  seaver lost to catfish in game 6.  i was 7 but remember this vividly.  also remember mays being a shadow of himself playing for the injured rusty staub.  i mean, does anyone know any NY Giant baseball fans ever?

Edited by Chemical X
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3 hours ago, Chemical X said:

  i mean, does anyone know any NY Giant baseball fans ever?

When I was a kid, I never saw my dad show much interest at all in watching or paying attention to baseball.  I thought it was a little weird, because he was always the star of the games we'd have in the yard with neighbors during summer picnics, and he'd talk about playing a lot when he was a kid.  

Turned out he grew up a big NY Giants fan and when they moved, he swore off following the game almost completely.  He wouldn't talk about it without being asked, wouldn't complain, nothing.  You'd think he was always only a NY Football Giants fan.

Now, of course, in his old age he lets it all out to anyone who will listen :)

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7 hours ago, Desert_Power said:

Hang this in the FFA Hall of Fame.

Agreed. I think this has less to do with Mays than some realize. Mays may have been the inspiration for wikkid but change the name to whoever you want ... it is the message that resonates loudest.

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Never met Willie but still have an old autographed envelope I collected a long time ago. I wish he was at the card show where I met Mantle and Snider in 1980 as a little kid. Got a bunch of Mantle signatures in person and way more Sniders. You had to buy tickets and I bought one for Snider and proceeded to lay out a bunch of pictures. He said the ticket was really only supposed to be for one signature but he couldn’t say no to my cuteness back then and signed everything. I bought extra tickets for Mantle.

Man, I really wish I bought one of those 52 Mantle cars that I loved. Even back then it was five hundred but I probably could have gotten my dad to buy it for my year’s worth of gifts and other card packs I’d get. Probably added up to that anyway.

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1 hour ago, Atomic Punk said:

Agreed. I think this has less to do with Mays than some realize. Mays may have been the inspiration for wikkid but change the name to whoever you want ... it is the message that resonates loudest.

Say Hey Willie had a LOT to do with it. my peeps were all hate & hard work, my world was an urban burgoo of bad choices and i was a dreamy genius. i needed to be led - out, above, beyond. i picked a man who outran his race and kept a child's joy. i am poor but i am free because i outran what i was supposed to be. my thoughts are my grip, my words are my legs. listen for the crack of the bat, #####es, and watch us run. race you home, Willie. Say Hey!

 

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Posted (edited)

I am so relieved this is an honor piece, I was afraid at first he had passed.  I knew his birthday was coming up, and what a fitting tribute here from our own poet laureate.

SAY HEY!

Edited by Corporation
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Posted (edited)

My father's favorite ballplayer. I grew up with nothing for respect for Mays because of that. Greatest all-around ballplayer he saw, in his estimation. The accolades don't betray the opinion. Nine times the MVP. Twelve times a Gold Glove winner. My favorite stat that never needed to be rounded and just rolled off of the tongue, 660 home runs, one that I, as a kid, always wanted to achieve. The seven hundred club was too crowded and tainted with backstory and sadness, I thought; the 600 club was just about right for a true ballplayer. The enduring images and pictures of him, back turned on the Vic Wertz catch, delivering the 1954 World Series to the Giants with will, almost effortless grace, and unparalleled athleticism. Hat flying off as he slid into second on a double. Humble even in New York, prolific in everything, almost perfect in every way. Great figure in baseball history, Mays.

Edited by rockaction
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On 5/6/2021 at 4:54 PM, Chemical X said:

i don’t suppose there are many of them around, but my father was a NY Giant fan as a kid and his favorite player was Mays.  my father always wore 24.  said he was a kid coming home from school when everyone watched the game in a store window, of course that would be the 1952 game 3 playoff for the pennant against the dodgers.  Mays was on deck when Thomson hits into the lower deck.  he couldn’t understand why Branca didn’t walk thomson to face mays, who was still a rookie in 52 and playing terribly.  i won’t talk about mays on the 73 mets, a team that should’ve beaten the mighty a’s.  effin berra had seaver pitch game 6 on short rest up 3-2.  he should’ve left seaver on regular rest for game 7 against ken holtzman.  instead, they were forced to use matlack.  seaver lost to catfish in game 6.  i was 7 but remember this vividly.  also remember mays being a shadow of himself playing for the injured rusty staub.  i mean, does anyone know any NY Giant baseball fans ever?

I was at Oakland for all of the series games that year.  I still have the left field bleacher ticket stubs. 3 of us traveled from Spokane WA where we all in college.  Mays played center field.  He was old & did botch an easy play.  Was an honor though to be in the same park as him.

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In the Mid 90s I lived down the road from the house Willie owned and stayed in during giants spring training. I was real young and every spring would go knock on his door with a giants hat on to say hi, talk a minute of baseball and ask for an autograph. He was always so kind. One year I didn’t have a new baseball so actually brought over a somewhat used one (silly I know but I was probably 8) and asked him to sign. He signed it, then went back into his house and brought me out a brand new ball and signed that one as well. It was already my favorite part of the year and he took it to another level. I used to think all the signed balls were cool and now really just care about the memories. 

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Some intern in Pelosi office is having a bad day. The speaker just posted a happy birthday day greeting with her arms around him in a picture.

 

well it was a SF great Hall Of a Famer so it’s probably close enough, but it was Willie McCovey.

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1 hour ago, The Ref said:

Some intern in Pelosi office is having a bad day. The speaker just posted a happy birthday day greeting with her arms around him in a picture.

 

well it was a SF great Hall Of a Famer so it’s probably close enough, but it was Willie McCovey.

Unidentity politics

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5 minutes ago, identikit said:

Unidentity politics

you may have stumbled on something, there, Ollie. that's what FFA (even the PFers) should become known for - Mistaken Identity Politics

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Posted (edited)
9 minutes ago, wikkidpissah said:

you may have stumbled on something, there, Ollie. that's what FFA (even the PFers) should become known for - Mistaken Identity Politics

I'm a better-than-average stumbler   Probably about a .277 lifetime average.

;)

Edited by identikit
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4 minutes ago, identikit said:

I'm a better-than-average stumbler   Probably about a .277 lifetime average.

;)

go over to the Political Forum - @timschochet @ shortstop and everyone else on the right side of the field. yell "Obama" while you bunt and you'll be on every time.........

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1 minute ago, wikkidpissah said:

go over to the Political Forum - @timschochet @ shortstop and everyone else on the right side of the field. yell "Obama" while you bunt and you'll be on every time.........

:lmao:

Literally

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The only fuzzy memory I have of watching him live was in the '73 World Series.

Pleading his case to an umpire after a play at the plate.

I do remember the Saturday morning cartoon.

I read voraciously about him, and watched a lot of film of him.

I so hope we'll have many more of these annual threads for him. 

 

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Posted (edited)
2 hours ago, gump said:

2nd best player ever, behind Ruth? Two players I’m sorry I missed in ‘modern’ times were Mays and Mantle.

however one places Mays - i dont know if sabrmetricians adjust for the batting-thin yrs before the mound was lowered & such and how #24's #s fare, and i grew up knowing a gent who was a train porter who served the Cobbs/Ruths/Gibsons/Hornsbys in his day and regularly sneezed at my Willie love - his impact comes largely from being the first prominent media sportsman.

i feel a need to keep reminding this forum that the America i was born into didnt have a comfortable knowledge of the world outside their lives.  the guys who came back from the war told us there was one very different from what we knew, but it wasnt til TV came along that we found out about it. everything, even things which would be considered mundane today, that came thru that box was a wonder to its first consumers. and The Catch and Mays' All-Star games (as Ted Williams said in the tribute @tri-man 47 posted, "the ASG was made for Willie Mays") is what made sports on TV a viable thing.

me Ma had been a wire reporter for Western Union in the 40s and regularly sent out game dispatches on the Boston Braves before the franchise left town so, while she only listened to Red Sox games on the radio, she'd iron our clothes to the Game of the Week on TV so she could see the odd NL players still in the game - Durocher, Eddie Stanky, Alvin Dark - she knew from her Braves days. At her knee (actually her ironing board's leg) is where i first saw Say Hey Willie. and there was simply nothing like him. i'm reminded of seeing Nureyev & Fonteyn dance on Ed Sullivan for the first time - there was just no way to guess that human beings could do such things. Mays was like that.

my wonder was reflected in the very first  story i wrote for school (4th/5th grade?) - in a construct which became the subject of parent/teacher conferences, the very first fiction i ever wrote was about the last day in the life of a convicted murderer. i dont believe it was based in morbidness as much as a contrast - the possibility that one could see Candlestick Park from Alcatraz (the Birdman movie had just come out). in my remembrance of the story, the bird was Willie Mays - the most trapped man in the world spending the day before his execution imagining the flights of baseball excellence, across the bay, of the most free man in the world. i dunno if i was being an 8yo Wednesday Adams or Franz Kafka (or Jack Webb, cuz the writing was very Dragnet - deadpan casual), but that's how ingrained the Wonder of Willie was in my soul. Say Hey!

Edited by wikkidpissah
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On 5/6/2021 at 6:08 PM, Joe Mammy said:

As a youngster racing for the morning paper to read the boxscores I always looked for Willie and Mickey's daily stats. At the time the opinion was one or the other was the best ballplayer. Well, here's to you Say Hey, living large!

 

When I was a kid about 10, me and the neighbor would play baseball in his front yard and pretend to be famous players. I had family in San Francisco and they sent me a lot of Giant propaganda. He was from Mississippi. One day his dad pulled up and we told him I was playing as Willie May and Lee was Willie McCovey. His dad sneered and said to him, "you could at least be somebody white."

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31 minutes ago, cosjobs said:

When I was a kid about 10, me and the neighbor would play baseball in his front yard and pretend to be famous players. I had family in San Francisco and they sent me a lot of Giant propaganda. He was from Mississippi. One day his dad pulled up and we told him I was playing as Willie May and Lee was Willie McCovey. His dad sneered and said to him, "you could at least be somebody white."

damn, Cos ...that was like 1957 ...in the South

next.

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On 5/8/2021 at 2:02 PM, gump said:

2nd best player ever, behind Ruth? Two players I’m sorry I missed in ‘modern’ times were Mays and Mantle.

I’m biased but I give the nod to Aaron over Mays but it’s quibbling - Mays was incredible.

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I don't recall ever seeing so much about Willie's BDay in the news as I have for this BDay.  Maybe because he turned 90.

Glad to see it all.

My dad passed away 15 years ago. He shared the same BDay as Willie, but was four years older. So as a kid of 8, always had a fondness for Willie because of this, and Mick as we share the same BDay.  1968 was kinda late in each of their careers, so I didn't get the full effect like Wikkid did for sure.

My son, who graduated from Boise St yesterday, was given a Willie Mays autographed ball when he was four by a good friend/customer when we went to Pac Ball for our last stop on a x-country tour of 15 ballparks in 2001.  He was four at the time. Ten minutes before that, we had just turned the corner to see McCovey's Cove Bay and Chipper Jones hit a BP ball into the bay. Some guy canoed over to it and threw it up to my son. Little booger got two cool balls in ten minutes and I had zero in forty years of several botched, foul ball catches. 

He missed most of 1952, and all of 1953 while serving in the military. I have him quite a bit ahead of Aaron.  He had 92 HR in 1954/55.  He could have had another 70-80 in 1952-3, IMO. 

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