You move for Willie Mays

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SCOTTSDALE, ARIZ — Just a brief little thing from Giants camp today.

A representative from MLB was at the round table just inside the Giants’ clubhouse this morning, putting authentication stickers on baseballs and bats which he was then having players sign. I walked away to interview a player for a few moments and then walked back to the table, as it was a good place to camp out before deciding who to talk to next. When I got there, sitting at the table, instead of the MLB rep, was Willie Mays. Or, as I tend to refer to him whenever I encounter him, Willie Freakin’ Mays.

I walked over to the new table the MLB rep was occupying, having moved several boxes of baseballs and a couple dozen bats along with him, somewhat hastily. In a sarcastic tone I said “I don’t believe that old guy made you move. You were there first.” He laughed and then in a quiet voice, smiling but undeniably serious, said “That’s a man you move for.”

Even after a few years of doing this, if you’re not jaded, you still stop and marvel every once in awhile at the fact that sometimes you find yourself in a room with 40 guys who are among the absolute best in the world at your favorite thing in the world. Then, every so often, you find yourself in the same room as the absolute best to ever play the game, bar none.