Say Hey, Kid

i’ve been watching, listening, and reading all of the praises (deserved) of Willie Mays who crossed over the bridge yesterday at 93.

Many of the accolades claim Willie was the best baseball player ever. i remain amazed that folks could claim such.

In my mind, folks who try to assess baseball players from, possibly 1786, until today, are barking up a tree where the there are no squirrels. Equipment, field conditions, injuries, medical advances, baseball quality and consistency, specialization, coaching (from an absurd age, almost infancy), money, number of games in the season, information, oh, yes, PEDs, and lord knows what else have made such comparisons ridiculous. But the public wants to compare: they are good at being illogical and ridiculous. And the sports moguls eat it up because they make money on it. So we have it.

Correction: i do not have it. Comparing Walter Johnson to Bob Gibson to Gerrit Cole is worse than comparing apples and oranges. It’s comparing high tech to farming. i’m out.

So i will not state Willie Mays was the best. i certainly argued with my father enough about whether he was better than Mickey Mantle, but we never reached an agreement.

However, there is no one, no one who made me happier than Willie Mays when i watched him play. He was magic. He was made even more magic by Dizzy Dean and Pee Wee Reece in their description in the Falstaff Beer Game of the week on Saturdays. It really didn’t matter who announced. Willie made it magic. You could feel the joy.

i was a Pirate fan. Bill Mazeroski, Don Hoak, Dick Groat, Smoky Burgess were in a place of honor. And if you ask me about the greatest baseball player of all time, my vote would be for Roberto Clemente.

But, as i have noted, baseball greatness is arbitrary.


i smile when i think of watching him.

Rest in the peace, incredible and forever, young man.

Say hey!

2 thoughts on “Say Hey, Kid

  1. The most important of my baseball memories was going down to the railroad yards where our Padres played as we sat in wooden benches and cheered our young team. We’d cross the San Diego Bay on the ferry and join fellow fans back in the day when baseball was just a game. In fact, my father organized the first Little League Organization in East San Diego County in the early 50s.
    Buy I will forever remember watching the greats like Willie Mays.

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