Willie Mays: The Life, The Legend

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Simon and Schuster, Apr 3, 2010 - Biography & Autobiography - 640 pages
9 Reviews
The “enormously entertaining and wide-ranging” (Seattle Times) authorized, definitive, New York Times bestselling biography of Willie Mays, the most complete baseball player of all time.

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. He was a blend of power, speed, and stylistic bravado that enraptured fans for more than two decades. Now James Hirsch reveals the man behind the player.

Mays was a transcendent figure who received standing ovations in enemy stadiums and who, during the turbulent civil rights era, urged understanding and reconciliation. More than his records, his legacy is defined by the pure joy that he brought to fans and the loving memories that have been passed to future generations so they might know the magic and beauty of the game. With meticulous research and drawing on interviews with Mays himself as well as with close friends, family, and teammates, Hirsch presents a brilliant portrait of one of America’s most significant cultural icons.
 

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LibraryThing Review

User Review  - jimrgill - LibraryThing

This very well written biography meticulously chronicles many—if not all—of the important events in the life of Willie Mays as both a superstar baseball player and a complex and often inscrutable ... Read full review

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - nmele - LibraryThing

What can I say? I really enjoyed reading this biography of Willie Mays, who I saw play at the Polo Grounds as a kid. This is an authorized biography, so it doesn't explore every dark corner of Mays's life, but who wants to go there anyway? Read full review

Contents

Prologue
1
Alabama Roots
9
Raised to Succeed
19
Supernatural Gifts
28
A Mothers Love
35
The Black Barons
38
The Giants Call
55
The Minors
65
The End of an Era
247
Miraloma Drive
269
Welcome to San Francisco
282
Black Barnstormers
301
Cheers for Khrushchev
307
Headwinds
317
Theres a Feel in the Air
330
Acceptance at Last
346

The Savior Arrives
81
Rookie of the Year
97
War Stories
142
Id Play for Free
163
The Catch
185
Ole Mira
206
A New Archetype
214
Jackie Willie and All Deliberate Speed
223
Willie Mays Doesnt Need Help from Anyone
236
Youth Is Served
378
Befriended by a Banker
398
The Peacemaker
423
A Piece of Willies Heart
447
A Doctrine of Brotherhood
469
Baseball Royalty
488
New York New York
503
The End of a Love Affair
516
Copyright

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About the author (2010)

James S. Hirsch is former reporter for The New York Times and The Wall Street Journal. He is the author of four nonfiction books, including the New York Times bestseller. Hurricane: The Miraculous Journey of Rubin Carter, which was the basis for the film of the same name starring Denzel Washington. Hirsch is a graduate of the University of Missouri School of Journalism and has a master’s degree from the LBJ School of Public Affairs at the University of Texas. He lives in the Boston area with his wife, Sheryl, and their children, Amanda and Garrett. Born and raised in St. Louis, he remains a diehard Cardinal fan.

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