Willie Mays is the best baseball player in history. This article by Scott Ostler and book by John Shea proves it.
Willie Mays was a superstar leader, as is shown by mashing up two new books: “24, Life Stories and Lessons from the Say Hey Kid,” and “Intangibles: Unlocking the Science and Soul of Team …
I was so fortunate here on the west coast. I got to see the greatest play, from my very first professional game at Seals Stadium in 1959, until he was traded to the Mets. I even saw him in the 1973 World Series against the hometown Oakland A’s. In between, our family (my Dad, brother, and I) would drive up to San Francisco on many summer Sundays to see the Giants and Willie Mays. We got to see him play dozens of times!! He made playing baseball look both fun and easy!
When my son was growing up, we met Willie in person, and got his autograph. My son asked why his voice was so gravelly. I told him it does not matter when you are the greatest player in the history of the game.
Back home, as kids, we all tried the famous “basket” catch of Willie Mays. And we failed most of the time. Willie never failed.
Does anyone today come close? Maybe Mike Trout. But Trout is not the person that Willie became. Willie was great on the field, and off.
Ostler says this in his book: Mays was unassailable. He may have been the smartest player in the game. He played with elegance, ebullience and relentless excellence. He was a rock-solid citizen.