Friday, March 22, 2024

Quotes by and about Willie Mays

Lots of good quotes by Willie, but I want to highlight this one:

I always enjoyed playing ball, and it didn't matter to me whether I played with white kids or black. I never understood why an issue was made of who I played with, and I never felt comfortable, when I grew up, telling other people how to act. Over the years, a lot of organizations have asked me to be their spokesman, or have wanted me to make speeches about my experiences as a black athlete, or to talk to Congressmen about racial issues in sports. But see, I never recall trouble. I believe I had a happy childhood. Besides playing school sports, we'd play football against the white kids. And we thought nothing of it, neither the blacks nor the whites. It was the grownups who got upset ... I never got into a fight that was caused by racism." In Say Hey : The Autobiography of Willie Mays (1988)

Exactly right. 

I am not a fan of “activists” and other troublemakers demanding that athletes and others in the public eye enlist their pet social causes. That’s using people, and it’s presumptuous and rude and arrogant as hell. 

More from the Say Hey Kid:

  • Baseball is a game, yes. It is also a business. But what it most truly is, is disguised combat. For all its gentility, its almost leisurely pace, baseball is violence under wraps.
  • I didn't think like that, about best seasons. What if you thought '97 was your best year — what would you do now? I never looked back. I couldn't dwell on last year's season. I always looked forward. I never worried about what other people were doing — except the guy I was playing against.
  • I can't tell you about moments because I wasn't into that. I just played every day and enjoyed what I was doing. When I made a great catch it was just routine. I didn't worry about it. Winning was important. Winning.

These quotes show that he was 100% dialed in. 

He had conquered the mental part of sports, which is always the hardest part to conquer. That’s a big part of being able to play for a long, long time, as he did.

Gil Hodges:

I can't very well tell my batters don't hit it to him. Wherever they hit it, he's there anyway.

And finally, Leo Durocher:

I never saw a f*cking ball get out of a f*cking ball park so f*cking fast in my f*cking life

LOL, well, it does get the point across!

Baseball Almanac has many, many baseball quotes here

I’ve written about Willie before, just use the search box at the right side of this page.