Posted on / by avilramon / in Uncategorized


by: Amaury Pi-González

On the afternoon of June 18, 2024, Willie Mays passed at 93 at a hospice in Palo Alto, California, surrounded by his family with dignity, like his great career for decades in baseball. There was nobody like Willie Mays, past or present. His baseball numbers and accomplishments have been well documented through the years, and his Cooperstown plaque shines as brightly as ever today. There are no controversies when it comes to his life in the diamond.

As history will have it, Mays left us just 48 hours before a historical moment in which Major League Baseball would be honoring the Negro Leagues and their pioneers with a game at Rickwood Field (America’s Oldest Baseball Park) 1137 2nd Avenue W. Birmingham, Alabama, just 9 miles away from Westfield, where Willie Mays was born. During the 1990s, when this reporter was the Spanish radio play-by-play announcer for the San Francisco Giants, we could see Willie at any given game inside the Giants dressing room, talking baseball, or in Spring Training in Arizona, there he was. It was a pleasure and privilege to have met this man, synonymous with baseball. In the late 1960s, I attended the first game in the Bay Area at Candlestick Park. And Mays was in center, Bobby Bonds in right, and Ken Henderson and pitching; as I remember, was Mike McCormick, my brother Joaquin and I enjoyed that game in July at windy Candlestick Park, we have seen Willie Mays play.

Many things have been and will be written about this humble and talented man who graces us with his presence on and off the field. Three personalities were impossible to ignore in the game we call the National Pastime. Babe Ruth, Jackie Robinson, and Willy Mays. Ruth was the most famous American in the 1920s when the NBA and NFL were not on the radar of the American sports scene, Jackie Robinson was a historical lesson in America, and Mays for excellence and dignity in baseball.

‘The Catch” at the Polo Ground, New York, the great play by Mays on a deep fly ball of Cleveland’s Vic Wertz in the first game of the 1954 World Series, is one of the most watched pieces of film in baseball history.Willie Mays was for baseball, Muhammad Ali was for boxing, and Pelé for Fútbol(Soccer) .

Class, Dignity, Excellence—that was Willie Mays. Like his Statue at the main entrance of Oracle Park, we will never forget him. May he Rest in Peace.

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