Saturday, June 30, 2007

Baseball, Hotdogs, and Apple Pie

As a longtime San Francisco Giants fan and the All Star game coming to AT&T Park in SF, I will be posting some of the articles (in part) that can be found in news print. The first, (and probably my favorite) is about one of the greatest all-stars of all time, Willie Mays:

Mays still revered by his peers
Legendary All-Star Game performer showered with praise
By Chris Haft /

The best part about watching Willie Mays play was seeing him hit. Or run the bases. Or play center field.

Mays thrilled fans and even fellow players with his depth and breadth of skills. It's entirely fitting that he's widely considered baseball's all-time All-Star, given not only the excellence he sustained to reach the Midsummer Classic but also the leading role he consistently played for the National League against the American League. Besides being tied for second with 24 All-Star appearances, Mays still holds numerous All-Star records, including at-bats (75), runs (20), hits (23) and extra-base hits (eight).

Any discussion of All-Star Game history leads inevitably to Mays. So does any discussion of baseball in San Francisco, given his wondrous tenure with the Giants during a 22-year Hall of Fame career that featured 660 home runs, a .302 batting average and 12 Gold Gloves. And, at the very least, Mays belongs in the conversation when the greatest players ever are considered.

With the approach of the All-Star Game at San Francisco's AT&T Park on July 10, Mays is especially relevant. caught up with some of Mays' peers, who knew what made him a singular performer and understood that he transcended mere statistics.

Joe Torre, New York Yankees manager and nine-time All-Star: "You have to love Willie's enthusiasm for the game. That's never disappeared. Felipe Alou once said to me, 'It seems that the spotlight follows him no matter where he goes.' Something exciting happens when he's on the field."

Felipe Alou, 17-year Major Leaguer: "Any city that we played in, when we arrived there, the newspaper said, 'Willie Mays and company.' In the 'company' was Juan Marichal, Gaylord Perry, Willie McCovey. Willie Mays was the big guy, no question about it. We knew that."

Please go to the link and enjoy the rest of the comments and admiration of Willie.

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