Wednesday 7 April 2010

"Willie Mays, The Life, The Legend” by James S Hirsch

Every spring, impatient for baseball season to start, I head off to the library to pick up a book about (what else?) baseball. This year I picked up the book about one of my favourite all time players, Willie Mays, The Life, The Legend by James S Hirsch. I'm glad I did. 

Considered to be "as monumental -- and enigmatic -- a legend as American sport has ever seen" ("Sports Illustrated"), Willie Mays is arguably the greatest player in baseball history, still revered for the passion he brought to the game. He began as a teenager in the Negro Leagues, became a cult hero in New York, and was the headliner in Major League Baseball's bold expansion to California. With 3,283 hits, 660 home runs, and 338 stolen bases, he was a blend of power, speed, and stylistic bravado that enraptured fans for more than two decades. Now, in the first biography authorized by and written with the cooperation of Willie Mays, James Hirsch reveals the man behind the player." 

Even though the book is an authorized biography, it does show Willie’s skills and flaws. It is not only a look at May’s career and life but it is also a look at discrimination, being a black ball player in the south, being one of the first black players to join the major leagues after Jackie Robinson, and how it all was handled by May’s. There were no dull moments. An enjoyable read for anyone who loves the game of baseball.

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