Day: April 22, 2010

Willie Mays: The Life, The Legend

We’ve been blessed with two recent books about the greatest baseball player of all time – Willie Mays.  I wrote about the first, Willie’s Boys, in a post in January.  I’ve just finished the second, Willie Mays:  The Life, The Legend, and found it is as satisfying as a well-played game on a warm summer evening.  (Although at 556 pages it takes a bit longer to complete.) Author James Hirsch, who never saw Mays play live, has nonetheless captured the essence of a deeply private, and in many ways unknowable, larger-than-life legend.   Mays is one of those people who touched so many people in so many ways.  As Hirsch notes, “If you write a book that allows you to talk to Bill Clinton, Woody Allen, Hank Aaron, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Sandy Koufax, and Tom Seaver, you’ve probably got a pretty good subject.”  Bill Clinton says that Willie Mays, “…lives his life with more than talent – he has the mind and heart of a champion.”  Woody Allen, in the movie Manhattan, said Willie Mays was one …