THE INSTANT NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER AND SAN FRANCISCO CHRONICLE BESTSELLER
The legendary Willie Mays shares the inspirations and influences responsible for guiding him on and off the field in this reflective and inspirational memoir.
"Even if, like me, you thought you had pretty much read and heard all there was to read and hear about Willie Mays, this warmhearted book will inform and reward you. And besides, what true baseball fan can ever get enough of Willie Mays? Say Hey! Read on and enjoy." —From the Foreword by Bob Costas
“It’s because of giants like Willie that someone like me could even think about running for President.” —President Barack Obama
Widely regarded as the greatest all-around player in baseball history because of his unparalleled hitting, defense and baserunning, the beloved Willie Mays offers people of all ages his lifetime of experience meeting challenges with positivity, integrity and triumph in 24: Life Stories and Lessons from the Say Hey Kid.
Presented in 24 chapters to correspond with his universally recognized uniform number, Willie’s memoir provides more than the story of his role in America’s pastime. This is the story of a man who values family and community, engages in charitable causes especially involving children and follows a philosophy that encourages hope, hard work and the fulfillment of dreams.
“I was very lucky when I was a child. My family took care of me and made sure I was in early at night. I didn’t get in trouble. My father made sure that I didn’t do the wrong thing. I’ve always had a special place in my heart for children and their well-being, and John Shea and I got the idea that we should do something for the kids and the fathers and the mothers, and that’s why this book is being published. We want to reach out to all generations and backgrounds. Hopefully, these stories and lessons will inspire people in a positive way.” —Willie Mays
In this enjoyable memoir, told in the third person, Shea (Off Base) and Mays narrate the life of one of MLB's greatest baseball players. Drawing on hundreds of interviews from the likes of fellow legends Hank Aaron, Rickey Henderson, Reggie Jackson, and Willie McCovey, and three presidents (Clinton, Bush, Obama), Shea chronicles Mays's life and legacy with attention, detail, and awe. The narrative follows Mays's early playing days in Tennessee through his professional career with the New York/San Francisco Giants and New York Mets and into retirement. When describing his famous catch in the 1954 World Series, Mays humbly recalls, "It was simple to me. You go back, you catch the ball, you spin, you turn, you throw it back to the infield." He reflects on other parts of his life, as well, including his Army service during the Korean War ("You've got to serve your country, and that's what I did"), and discusses the significance of black athletes, from Jackie Robinson through to when Mays himself received the Presidential Medal of Freedom from Barack Obama ("It wasn't about riding Air Force One, it was the thought of someone from my race inviting me aboard"). This definitive work about a living legend is a must-buy for baseball fans.
The Great Willie Mays
Willie Mays has been my baseball player of all time. To learn about his childhood, father, all his mentors, and he just being who he is makes me feel great.
Thank you Willie for being you and helping all of those people you helped. My heart is glad to know about you more and keep it up. I wish there were more people like you.
God bless you!