It didn’t look good for the San Francisco Giants last night down 6-3 to the San Diego Padres with two outs in the bottom of the eighth inning..then third baseman Donovan Solano crushed a game-tying three-run home run into the left field bleachers. Suddenly, the cardboard cutout crowd had a reason to believe and stick around.
And they were glad they did.
In the bottom of the ninth, Yastrzemski stepped to the plate and pulled a fastball from Padres left-hander Mike Strahm into McCovey Cove, delivering the Giants a 7-6 walk-off win and Yastrzemski’s second home run of the night to get wet.
Wille Mays was without a doubt the most talented five tool-player to ever play the game. In addition to his speed, throwing, fielding, hitting, and hitting with power, Willie also had a sixth tool: smarts! His baseball IQ was off the charts. As many will attest, he was one of the smartest baseball players to ever play the game. He could beat other teams without even leaving the bench.
“He seemed to be more in the game than any other player. You had the sense he had the whole ballgame in mind. People who played with him said he had a deeper understanding of what was going on than anybody else on the field.”
Roger Angell, The New Yorker
“Willie Mays was a not only a wonderfully gifted, instinctive ballplayer, but also a tremendously smart ballplayer. As a rookie he would get to second base, watch two batters come to the plate, go back to the dugout, having stolen the other team’s signs, decoded the sequence,and knew the indicator sign for the other signs. Willie Mays..natural ballplayer for sure..but he was also the hardest working ballplayer you ever saw.”
George F. Will, Columnist
“If somebody came up and hit .450, stole 100 bases, and performed a miracle in the field every day, I’d still look you right in the eye and tell you that Willie was better. He could do the five things you have to do to be a superstar: hit, hit with power, run, throw and field. And he had the other magic ingredient that turns a superstar into a super-superstar. Charisma.”
“He would routinely do things you never saw anyone else do. He’d score from first base on a single. He’d take two bases on a pop-up. He’d throw somebody out at the plate on one bounce. And the bigger the game, the better he played.”
“Willie Mays, to me, was the best ballplayer I ever saw in my life. …Nobody in the history of baseball is going to see anyone like Willie Mays.”
“One thing I do that’s fun for me in my job is I like to ask people in baseball who the best players they’ve ever seen. Every one of them says Willie Mays.”
“Mays is the only ballplayer I ever saw who could have helped a club just by riding on the bus with it.”
“Willie Mays was to me the greatest player I ever watched. People ask me that, and I don’t hesitate.”
“I played with him, people have a false impression of what a great player is nowadays. If somebody puts up great numbers, they think he’s great. But if you saw Willie play, you would see games where he would win it for us and he wouldn’t even get a hit. He did things that nobody else does. That’s what makes a great ballplayer.”
“There have been only two geniuses in the world: Willie Mays and Willie Shakespeare.”
“The best Major League ballplayer I ever saw was Willie Mays. Ruth beat you with the bat. Ted Williams beat you with the bat. Joe DiMaggio beat you with the bat, his glove and his arm. But Willie Mays could beat you with the bat, with power, his glove, his arm and with the running. He could beat you any way that’s possible.”
“I think anybody who saw him will tell you that Willie Mays was the greatest player who ever lived.“
Kudos to Nigel Buchanan’s stunning and timely cover illustration of Buster Posey catcher of the San Francisco Giants on cover of the May-June Nob Hill Gazette Issue. Let’s all hope MLB returns soon!🧡⚾️🖤