Willie Mays was what baseball experts a five-tool player. He could (1) hit, (2) hit for power, (3) field, (4) throw and (5) run. He did all this with a flair. That meant he was a complete player. I believe in whatever of these areas he is weakest, every other player in baseball history has a weaker area. He played 22 years in the majors a little over 20 with the Giants and almost 2 with the Mets.
Willie started with the Giants in New York and then went with them to San Francisco. In the beginning of 1972 when he was traded to the Mets and it was said Willie was going back home. He retired with 660 home runs which was 2nd to Babe Ruth at the time. He had 3,283 hits with 3,000 being the standard of a great player.
I have three comments about Willie Mays from personnel experience:
1. Baseball writers, (practically New York writers) really loved Willie Mays. They wrote about how great he was, and no one could compare. It was kind of too much. At least I thought so as a kid. Starting when I was 12, I tended to fight what the writers wrote. So, I wasn’t a big May’s fan. It is when I grew up looked at the stats, plays he made on old film that I genuinely appreciate Mays and came up with this rating.
2. My Dad was in the Air Force as a kid. He was stationed at Travis Air Force Base in Northern California. I stayed a Twins fan, but my best friend was a Giants fan. We discussed and played baseball a lot. He came over once with the Giant roster. He would give me the last name of a player and I was supposed to guess the first name. I did pretty good for a nine-year-old. Then he gave me the last name “Willie”. I was confused and already guessed McCovey. Then he said the answer was “Mays” and told me Willie Mays was actually Mays Willie. I nodded but didn’t really believe him. I did do some research to see if there was anything said this. Maybe this is where I learned to be skeptical.
3. When I was 13, I watched Scooby Doo on Saturday movies and then there was a program which was a cartoon movie. I spent too much time then watching TV. Wasted youth. They called it a movie and it was only an hour long. Whatever station made these movies didn’t do a very good job and I didn’t watch the series long. But there was one episode I couldn’t miss. It was a baseball movie starring Willie Mays. As I said above, I wasn’t a big Willie Mays fan, but it was a baseball movie. It had to be 1972 as Willie was shown with the Mets. The plot wasn’t great, but the baseball part wasn’t bad. There just wasn’t enough baseball. Anyway in the plot, somehow Willie became responsible for an orphan girl who was also going to inherit a lot of money. However, there were some bad relatives who wanted to adopt the little girl just to get the money. Willie was trying to get the little girl what was rightly hers or adopt her. Meanwhile the Mets were in the World Series. Willie had to balance taking care of the girl and playing in the World Series. A couple of times he had to miss the games or part of the games as something happened to the girl. I remember once the relatives kidnapped her. The Mets won those games. Of course, Willie hit the series winning home run. I think he also hit another game winner during the series. I remember him hitting five home runs in the series, which was a possibility, so they didn’t make him Superman. Overall, I would give the movie a B minus, but I am a generous grader and it was long ago. New Category NameIt is the only movie I remember from watching the series.