Today is Willie Mays’ 80th birthday. The occasion has brought forth a ton of remembrances of the man’s career, and with a guy like Mays they’re all worth reading. I was particularly fond of this one in the San Jose Mercury News. Comcast Sports Bay Area has been running a series of stories on Mays’ life and career as well, including this one on the catch he made in the 1954 Series. Comcast will also be running a one-hour documentary on the Say Hey Kid on Sunday afternoon at 4:30 Pacific time, following the Giants-Rockies game.
I never got a chance to see Mays play, but the one thing that strikes me about him — apart from his obvious greatness — is that he had a game unlike that of most players in the 50s, what with the combination of speed, power and defense. I often wonder which players from previous eras could compete if they were put in a time machine and plopped into 2011. I’m sure most of the superstars would still be pretty darn good, but Mays is the one who I bet would lose the least of any of them.