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Willie Mays

Professional Baseball Player

Growing up in Long Island, New York my friends and I loved to play baseball and worship some of the players as heroes. There’s a lot more than just these three but Mickey, Sandy and Willie were at the top of the list for me. When we weren’t playing ball in the sandlot we’d jump on our Stingrays and head downtown to buy a pack of baseball cards that came with a piece of gum that tasted like cardboard. We developed games of skill where we could win cards off of each other. At one point I got so good at these games, my friends refused to play with me so I would head downtown and hustle kids I didn’t know. I’d buy two or three packs of cards and come home with 40 or 50 cards.


Willie Mays was nicknamed “The Say Hey Kid” and played for the Giants, (both in New York and when they moved to San Francisco) and ended his career with the New York Mets. As a center fielder he had a unique style of catching the ball. When a ball was coming down where he didn’t have to run for it, he’d hold his glove down by his belt buckle and let it drop in. We just thought that was the coolest.


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