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Willie Mays could throw better, and Hank Aaron could hit more home runs. But I've got enthusiasm. I've got desire. I've got hustle. Those are God-given talents, too.
I understood that my family was rich in love but would probably never own the land my father, John, dreamed of owning. My mother, Willie Ella Mays Clarke, was a washerwoman for poor white folks in the area of Columbus, Georgia where the writer Carson McCullers once lived.
John Henrik Clarke
Hi, Billy Mays here for...
I've been hearing this since I first joined the Reds organization, that I'm going to be the next this or that. It's tough on a young player coming up. You show some positive things and everybody jumps on that and says you should be the next Willie Mays.
Why the fairy tale of Willie Mays making a brilliant World Series catch, and then dashing off to play stickball in the street with his teenage pals. That's baseball. So is the husky voice of a doomed Lou Gehrig saying, 'I consider myself the luckiest man on the face of this earth.'
They invented the All-Star game for Willie Mays.
As much as I loved Jackie Robinson, Roy Campanella, Junior Gilliam, and Don Newcombe, I loved watching Willie Mays play more than all of them combined, even if he played for the 'bad guys!'
Leo Durocher was our manager and he brought Willie up to me and said, 'This is Willie Mays and he's your new roommate.' You could see right away that this young man was a natural. He had those real big hands, great power and speed and would catch everything hit in his direction. He's the best center fielder that ever lived, no question.
I think it's incredible because there were guys like Mays and Mantle and Henry Aaron who were great players for ten years... I only had four or five good years.
When I'm up against a wall, that's when Billy Mays performs best.
I want to establish myself as the first Eric Davis, not the next Willie Mays.
Willie Mays was the best ever. When I was in college I once made a catch like the one Mays made over his head. Sometimes when I'm lying in bed at night I think about it. It still makes me warm.
Come on, when does it come to the point where your name can't come up in trade talks? Willie Mays got traded. Pedro Martinez got traded. So what? That's part of the game.
I'm being compared to the impossible. I never saw Mays, Aaron or Clemente play. What about the people I face every day? Tim Raines is the best? Mattingly is the best? Why not compare me to my peers?
Oscar Charleston was the Willie Mays of his day. Nobody ever played center field better than Willie Mays. Suppose they had never given Willie a chance, and we said that, would anybody believe there was a kid in Alabama who was that good? Or there was a black guy in Atlanta who might break Babe Ruth's home run record? No.
I think anybody who saw him will tell you that Willie Mays was the greatest player who ever lived.
Willie Mays was the best baseball player I ever saw. He could do anything.
I had some great role models along the way. My on-field heroes were the great Ernie Banks, Billy Williams, and Willie Mays. I wanted to be like them on the field, and I am so damn proud to join them in the Hall of Fame.
With the Giants I broadcast the debut of Hall of Famer Willie Mays.
I played with Willie Mays and against Hank Aaron. They were tremendous players, but they were no Josh Gibson.
John F. Kennedy
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