Tuesday, May 06, 2008


He had such elan, joie de vivre, zest, abandon. Fun.

Playing a game, baseball.

His name was Willie Mays. Number 24, of the New York Giants, then the San Francisco Giants, and finally the New York Mets.

He was my boyhood hero.

Why? It's not too complicated. I asked my older brother, Richard, which team he liked. The Giants, he said. I watched. I discovered Mays was a star when the word meant something.

A daring performer, a zen master, a thrill to watch.

Born May 6, 1931, in Westfield, Alabama.

I have written a barely fictional short story about all this. I like the way it turned out. Maybe, like blogger JR, I will surrender my pretenses to propriety and abandon my quest for ill-sought fame and validation, and publish it here, or elsewhere, online.

Not today, though.

What would Willie do?

He'd swing away, dive for the ball, leap against the fence, steal a base, try for third.

Happy birthday [insert the typically forgotten vocative comma here] Willie.

And thanks.


Patti said...

Nice post, PK.

Did I use the vocative comma properly?
Did I evoke anything?

Just wondrin'

azgoddess said...

great post!

Ralph said...

Yes, and Mr. Mays played in New York when there was a 'Baseball Giants ' and a 'Football Giants'.

No doubt MLB players played harder every game in Mays' era because there were no mega-contracts then. You played harder and better baseball because it was your profession...your craft. They played not only for remuneration, but for the pride in production of your product as well.

Pawlie Kokonuts said...

Thanks. And yes.

Vielen danke.

I would like to think some still play that way.


JR's Thumbprints said...

It's never too late to take a swing, is it? As long as I'm still holding the bat, then I'm the boss.