Willie Mays
"I'm the highest salaried player in baseball history, and the first Negro player to be named captain of a team and that was the idea of a white Southerner who was manager at the time and who called me the greatest player he'd ever laid eyes on. My being a Negro is a part of this story-more than you might suspect, but probably, also, les than a lot of people would like. I can say this: the sun doesn't rise or set whether I hit a home run. For me, it rises and sets in a little guy whose name is Michael Mays: my son. He will know his father not as the first Negro player in the major leagues, because I wasn't, but as maybe- all things considered- the first you could point to and say, "Look what he did," instead of saying, "Look, he's colored"(25).

This video is from Game one of the 1954 World Series, and is ranked as one of the greatest catches all time. The Giants won the World Series that year.
Willie Mays was one of the first African American Players to play the game of Baseball. He went through some really hard times facing inequality and racism. He still managed to block all that out and play the game he loved. It shows that he changed people, how they thought of him like his Southern manager. Willie Mays didn't care what people thought about him he just played. Willie Mays wanted people to know he was good despite his color.
"Winning, of course, means a lot too. Being in contention is important. Someday, some sociologist is going to come along and make something out of the fact that the teams that were slowest to bring Negro players onto their rosters were the teams that didn't win" (81).

Willie Mays makes a very strong point here, the African Americans were struggling during this time and when they got and the opportunity to prove themselves they captured the moment. Many of the African Americans played with a chip on their shoulder and many of them were the best. The African American player had to be great to play, many of them teams were not sticking with him if he wasnt helping the team, because they really didnt want to play him because he was African American so he had to be good.
"It's been said that an umpire always gets abuse, never praise, and of course some players will get on them worse than others. I don't. I feel they're skilled and they know their rules, and they do the best they know how. They've got the same human problems as anybody else, and the toughest job in baseball" (105).
(Willie Mays-Mets)
(Willie Mays-Mets)

I put this quote in here because it shows how much class Willie Mays had for the game of Baseball and for life. He shows that umpires really do have tough jobs and they try to get it right. But sometimes they don't and you should forgive them. Willie Mays probably had a bad time
"The only fight I ever had on the field was with a dark-skinned Latin Player" (25).
(Willie Mays-Giants)
(Willie Mays-Giants)

I put this quote in here because all the years that Willie Mays was in Professional baseball he had only fought one person and it was someone of his same race. Willie Mays was in baseball during a bad time with racism and its funny that he never had a run in with a white player. it shows that Willie Mays knew how to ignore all the hate he recieved from people and just play the game he loved.
"I think just about all the Negro players who came up to the majors before I did-barely more than four seasons, from Robinson in '47 to me in '51- had the same scouting report. First they said the player was Negro and then they said he was great. With me they said great, then they said Negro. No question about what Jackie Robinson started. But maybe I started something too"(25).
To me this is important because it seems that Jackie Robinson started something great but it all went back down hill. Willie Mays started out great but then he was harrased it just doesn't make any sense. It shows how much the white Americans treated the African American people. Willie Mays in this shows that he is a little hurt but turns it into a joke with maybe I started something too. This shows what Willie Mays had to go through and thats what makes him so strong and determined to be the best.
Willie Mays, was born May 6, 1931 in Westfield, Alabama. He was into the Major League with the New York Giants in 1951, his rookie season he received the nickname "Say Hey Kid". He left baseball for two years to serve in the U.S. Army defending his country in combat and later returned. Willie Mays led the league in runs four times during his career. He hit a total of 660 home runs which ranks him fourth on the all time leader in home runs. He had a total of 3,283 hits, 12 Gold Gloves, and two World Series Championships in 1954 and 1965 where he received the MVP in both. Willie Mays was elected into the Hall of Fame in 1979, the first year he was eligible to be on the ballot.
Willie Mays was one player that no one will ever forget about, not just because he was one of the first African American players to play professional baseball. It's because he was one of the greatest to play the game, and how much class he had for the game. Willie Mays played during aa time of inequality and racism, he dealt with being called names and horible calls because of his color. Willie Mays not one time during his career did he ever fight with a white player, all he did was play the game he loved and ignore everything else that was happening around him. Willie Mays played America's past time in away that no one has ever seen. Willie Mays played in one of America's most embarrising moments in history, with whites treating blacks like they were not equal. Willie Mays turned many people from being racist to accepting the African American race, like his Southern coach.
"Mays, Willie." America the Beautiful. 2008. Grolier Online. 6 Nov. 2008 <http://atb.grolier.com/cgi-bin/article?templatename=profile.html&

Mays, Willie . Willie Mays: My Life in and Out of Baseball. New York: E.P. Dutton and Co., Inc., 1972.

"sp325t.jpg" 6 Nov. 2008 <http://go.grolier.com/>

"Willie-Mays" 1 Dec. 2008<http://fullcountpitch.com/wp-content/uploads/2008/03/willie-mays.jpg>

"Willie Mays-Mets" 1 Dec. 2008 <http://ccww.files.wordpress.com/2008/06/willie_mays_front.jpg>.

"Willie Mays-Giant" 1 Dec. 2008