Willie Mays: The Life, The Legend [Book Review]
Who knew. Willie Mays started out his career in a 1-26 funk. Even the greats can start their careers with a rough ride. But obviously that didn’t last long, as Mays became perhaps the most complete player that baseball has ever seen. In Willie Mays: The Life, the Legend, James S. Hirsch gives readers a spirited account of what it was like to watch Willie Mays play, of what it was to be Willie Mays on the field.
Everyone knows of “The Catch”, but a whole chapter of the book gives readers insight into the whole event. When manager Leo Durocher was asked after the game if that was the greatest catch he had ever seen, Durocher responded harshly. “What the f— are you talking about? Willie makes f——catches like that every day. Do you keep your f—— eyes open in the press box?” Durocher was a staunch defender of Mays and called him the “greatest player I ever laid eyes on.”
For fans of my era, it’s important to read a book like this to understand the in depth the greatness of Mays. Hirsch has made this an enjoyable endeavor with his biography of “The Say Hey Kid”. Here is an interview with Hirsch about his book.