Wednesday, May 6, 2009

The MMOB Daily Quote - Willie Mays

Willie Mays (Born May 6, 1931)

Having grown up in the San Francisco Bay Area I have great memories for today's subject of The MMOB Daily Quote. The Say Hey Kid was one of the greatest players to pull on cleats, and while I never did get to see him in person, I spent many a day glued to the radio or TV set to witness his latest exploits on the field.

He was elected into the
Baseball Hall of Fame in 1979 based on an outstanding career both in the field and at the plate. But you shouldn't take my word for it, look it up and let me know what you think.

Here's a short YouTube clip showcasing "the Catch"

Now let's hear what the man had to say:

"Baseball is a game, yes. It is also a business. But what it most truly is, is disguised combat. For all its gentility, its almost leisurely pace, baseball is violence under wraps."

"I don't know what Joe (DiMaggio) wanted (in regards to being called 'the greatest living ballplayer'), but I don't have a problem, if he wanted to do that. He was my hero. Joe was the best all-around player. Joe was the best. I only played against him once, in the '51 Series."

"I don't compare 'em, I just catch 'em."

"In order to excel, you must be completely dedicated to your chosen sport. You must also be prepared to work hard and be willing to accept constructive criticism. Without one-hundred percent dedication, you won't be able to do this."

"Every time I look at my pocketbook, I see Jackie Robinson."

"The catch off Bobby Morgan (a backhanded grab of the Brooklyn Dodger's line drive in September 1951 at Ebbets Field) in Brooklyn was the best catch I ever made. Jackie Robinson and (Giants manager) Leo Durocher were the first people I saw when I opened my eyes,"

"They throw the ball, I hit it. They hit the ball, I catch it."

"Youngsters of Little League can survive under-coaching a lot better than over-coaching."

"When I'm not hitting, I don't hit nobody. But, when I'm hitting, I hit anybody."

"I always enjoyed playing ball, and it didn't matter to me whether I played with white kids or black. I never understood why an issue was made of who I played with, and I never felt comfortable, when I grew up, telling other people how to act. Over the years, a lot of organizations have asked me to be their spokesman, or have wanted me to make speeches about my experiences as a black athlete, or to talk to Congressmen about racial issues in sports. But see, I never recall trouble. I believe I had a happy childhood. Besides playing school sports, we'd play football against the white kids. And we thought nothing of it, neither the blacks nor the whites. It was the grownups who got upset ... I never got into a fight that was caused by racism."
In Say Hey : The Autobiography of Willie Mays (1988)

Cheers! - Jason

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