Saturday, April 3, 2010

Willie Mays The Life The Legend

Over the years I have read many biographies of public figures. Most readers don't realize all the work the an author must do as he writes a book on any topic. James S. Hirsch was born in 1962 and was only 11 years when the Say Hey Kid retired from baseball. He interviewed over 130 people, reviewed over 4000 articles and other documents, and read 135 books in researching Willie. It is an authorized biography since Willie with all of the author's efforts in compiling this book.

I like Hirsch's chrnological method as the reader knows the time frame of each chapter. He includes some personal aspect of Willie's life without being gossipy. There were significant racial issues when Mays broke into baseball in the early 1950s. Jackie Robinson was traded to the Giants before 1957, but retired instead of reporting. It is a shame that Jackie and Willie never played together. I was aware the Mrs. Joan Payson, first owner of the Mets tried to trade for Mays for years, but didn't get him until 1972 when his skill had greatly eroded. He played poorly and spradically during his tenure with the Mets.

The book is very detailed and does not bore the reader with insignificant minutae. It was over 550 pages so it will require several hours over a number of sittings to finish. I spent much time on the rainy days this week reading it. I highly recommend this book for all baseball fans.

No comments:

Personal-Journals blog