Leading Christian Resource for Avid Readers, Support New Schools with Every Purchase.

Willie Mays: The Life, The Legend

Audio CD |English |0743599845 | 9780743599849

Willie Mays: The Life, The Legend

Audio CD |English |0743599845 | 9780743599849
Overview
Authorized by Willie Mays and written by aNew York Timesbestselling author, this is the definitive biography of one of baseball's immortals.Considered to be "as monumental--and enigmatic--a legend as American sport has ever seen"(Sports Illustrated), 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. With 3,283 hits, 660 home runs, and 338 stolen bases, he was a blend of power, speed, and stylistic bravado that enraptured fans for more than two decades. Now, in the first biography authorized by and written with the cooperation of Willie Mays, James Hirsch reveals the man behind the player.Willie is perhaps best known for "The Catch"--his breathtaking over-the-shoulder grab in the 1954 World Series. But he 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 complex portrait of one of America's most significant cultural icons.A Conversation with Author James HirschQ:As a baseball fan, what were your impressions of Willie Mays before you first approached him regarding a book?A:I never actually saw him play, but I grew up in St. Louis, and Cardinal announcer Jack Buck used to describe Mays as "the greatest player I ever saw" and speak of him with such reverence that the name itself was pure magic. Over the years, I read some stories about him and saw some video clips, and my impression was of a player who had mastered all parts of the game. As it happened, that impression didn't change. In considering who the greatest player of all time was, I conclude that Babe Ruth was baseball's most dominant player while Willie Mays was its greatest master.Q:The biography includes a rich description and analysis of “The Catch”--the play in the 1954 World Series for which Willie Mays is perhaps best known. What were your sources for this passage? How much time did you spend researching and crafting it? Was it more, or less, difficult to write than any other given passage in the book?A:Willie himself has discussed "The Catch" many times over the years, including in the locker room immediately after the game. The key, for me, was to capture not just his athletic skill but the true artistry of the moment. I found an interview that Willie gave in the 1990s in which he walked through the mental calculations he made while running toward the centerfield fence, trying to determine how he was going to throw the ball before the runner on second could tag up and score. It was Willie's most scientific, but also his most elegant, account of the play.Beyond filling in the gaps with Willie in person, I interviewed as many people I could find who saw the play, including players (Alvin Dark, Monte Irvin, Al Rosen) and sportswriters (Roger Kahn, Robert Creamer), and I culled the many descriptions of it that have been recorded, including from the hitter Vic Wertz and the second base umpire, Jocko Conlan. All told, I had about 35 eyewitness accounts. Given the wealth of information--Arnold Hano wrote an entire book about "The Catch"--the biggest challenge was finding some fresh angles.It was often said that "The Catch" was Willie's signature play. But it was more than that. It established the Willie Mays brand name--to this day, you can go to any ball field, watch a kid make a catch over his shoulder, and someone will scream, "Willie Mays!" I don't believe there is anything comparable with any athlete in any sport. What's also important is that "The Catch" now lives in the film footage that is played over and over on TV or on computers. The film is in black-and-white, but the following year, the World Series was filmed in color. Symbolically, we passed into the modern era--and indeed, Willie played most of his career in what we would consider the modern era, defined in part by the relocation of teams, World Series night games, and the widening financial divide between players and their fans. Yet Willie's defining moment placed him in that earlier era--the black-and-white television age, if you will--when players were more integrated into their communities, World Series games started in the afternoon, and owners didn't betray fans. Willie Mays, through the constant showing of "The Catch," has become our touchstone to that bygone era.Q:How would you sum up Mays’s legacy, both within the game of baseball and outside of it?A:That was the single most important question I wanted to answer, and I discovered it when I went to speak to my son's second-grade class. After talking to the students about how to write stories, I asked how many of them had heard of Willie Mays. I was shocked by how many hands went up--most of the boys, and some of the girls. I asked how they knew about Willie. Some had seen "The Catch" on ESPN, but many told me that their fathers, or their grandfathers, or their uncles had told them about "the great Willie Mays." The kids didn't really know anything about Willie, except that he represented this platonic ideal of baseball perfection. It was then that I realized Willie's legacy is not his numbers, his records, or the games he helped win. It is the pure joy that he brought to those fans who watched him and the loving memories that have been passed to future generations so they might know the magic and beauty of the game.Q:Why do you think Willie Mays finally agreed to be interviewed extensively for a biography?A:Timing was part of the reason. Willie was 77 when I first met him, and I believe he was ready to reflect on the totality of his life and encourage those around him to do so well. I was a complete stranger to Willie, but I now believe that helped me. Willie is extraordinarily proud of his life--quite mindful of that trajectory, from a poor, Depression-era black kid from the Deep South to someone who now rides on Air Force One with the president. While I asked Willie to do something that he really doesn't enjoy--talk about himself--I believe that he wanted an outsider to independently validate his accomplishments as well as disappointments.Q:What was your most unexpected discovery while researching and writingWillie Mays?A:Willie made baseball look so easy that most people assumed he just took the field and breezed through the season. Henry Aaron told me that some of the black players, who had to work extra hard just to keep their spots on the roster, resented Willie because he made baseball look so effortless. The fact is, even Willie's peers had no appreciation of his sacrifices, both physical and emotional. Those sacrifices caused Willie to be hospitalized on several occasions during his career--he was simply too tired to compete, and the pressure of being Willie Mays was at times too great even for Willie Mays. That was a surprise, but the revelation also made Willie a more human and sympathetic figure.Look InsideWillie Mays(Photos Courtesy of Willie Mays)Click on each image below to see a larger viewMays met President Obama before hiscandidacy for the White House, and fulfilledone of his dreams by accompanying thePresident on Air Force one to attend the 2009 All-Star Game in St. Louis.Willie (bottom row, fourth from the left) wasonly fifteen when he played brieflyfor the Chattanooga Choo Choos.Beyond baseball, Mays wants his legacy tobe his Say Hey Foundation, which isdedicated to supporting organizationsfor children.Mae Allen Mays set aside her career as asocial worker to be Willie's life partnerand soul mate.Mays's long history of helping children reflectshis belief that kids, unlike adults, will alwaysappreciate your efforts and will never betray you.--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
ISBN: 0743599845
ISBN13: 9780743599849
Author: James S Hirsch
Publisher: Simon & Schuster Audio
Format: Audio CD
PublicationDate: 2010-02-09
Language: English
Edition: Abridged
Dimensions: 5.0 x 1.25 x 6.0 inches
Weight: 16.0 ounces
Authorized by Willie Mays and written by aNew York Timesbestselling author, this is the definitive biography of one of baseball's immortals.Considered to be "as monumental--and enigmatic--a legend as American sport has ever seen"(Sports Illustrated), 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. With 3,283 hits, 660 home runs, and 338 stolen bases, he was a blend of power, speed, and stylistic bravado that enraptured fans for more than two decades. Now, in the first biography authorized by and written with the cooperation of Willie Mays, James Hirsch reveals the man behind the player.Willie is perhaps best known for "The Catch"--his breathtaking over-the-shoulder grab in the 1954 World Series. But he 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 complex portrait of one of America's most significant cultural icons.A Conversation with Author James HirschQ:As a baseball fan, what were your impressions of Willie Mays before you first approached him regarding a book?A:I never actually saw him play, but I grew up in St. Louis, and Cardinal announcer Jack Buck used to describe Mays as "the greatest player I ever saw" and speak of him with such reverence that the name itself was pure magic. Over the years, I read some stories about him and saw some video clips, and my impression was of a player who had mastered all parts of the game. As it happened, that impression didn't change. In considering who the greatest player of all time was, I conclude that Babe Ruth was baseball's most dominant player while Willie Mays was its greatest master.Q:The biography includes a rich description and analysis of “The Catch”--the play in the 1954 World Series for which Willie Mays is perhaps best known. What were your sources for this passage? How much time did you spend researching and crafting it? Was it more, or less, difficult to write than any other given passage in the book?A:Willie himself has discussed "The Catch" many times over the years, including in the locker room immediately after the game. The key, for me, was to capture not just his athletic skill but the true artistry of the moment. I found an interview that Willie gave in the 1990s in which he walked through the mental calculations he made while running toward the centerfield fence, trying to determine how he was going to throw the ball before the runner on second could tag up and score. It was Willie's most scientific, but also his most elegant, account of the play.Beyond filling in the gaps with Willie in person, I interviewed as many people I could find who saw the play, including players (Alvin Dark, Monte Irvin, Al Rosen) and sportswriters (Roger Kahn, Robert Creamer), and I culled the many descriptions of it that have been recorded, including from the hitter Vic Wertz and the second base umpire, Jocko Conlan. All told, I had about 35 eyewitness accounts. Given the wealth of information--Arnold Hano wrote an entire book about "The Catch"--the biggest challenge was finding some fresh angles.It was often said that "The Catch" was Willie's signature play. But it was more than that. It established the Willie Mays brand name--to this day, you can go to any ball field, watch a kid make a catch over his shoulder, and someone will scream, "Willie Mays!" I don't believe there is anything comparable with any athlete in any sport. What's also important is that "The Catch" now lives in the film footage that is played over and over on TV or on computers. The film is in black-and-white, but the following year, the World Series was filmed in color. Symbolically, we passed into the modern era--and indeed, Willie played most of his career in what we would consider the modern era, defined in part by the relocation of teams, World Series night games, and the widening financial divide between players and their fans. Yet Willie's defining moment placed him in that earlier era--the black-and-white television age, if you will--when players were more integrated into their communities, World Series games started in the afternoon, and owners didn't betray fans. Willie Mays, through the constant showing of "The Catch," has become our touchstone to that bygone era.Q:How would you sum up Mays’s legacy, both within the game of baseball and outside of it?A:That was the single most important question I wanted to answer, and I discovered it when I went to speak to my son's second-grade class. After talking to the students about how to write stories, I asked how many of them had heard of Willie Mays. I was shocked by how many hands went up--most of the boys, and some of the girls. I asked how they knew about Willie. Some had seen "The Catch" on ESPN, but many told me that their fathers, or their grandfathers, or their uncles had told them about "the great Willie Mays." The kids didn't really know anything about Willie, except that he represented this platonic ideal of baseball perfection. It was then that I realized Willie's legacy is not his numbers, his records, or the games he helped win. It is the pure joy that he brought to those fans who watched him and the loving memories that have been passed to future generations so they might know the magic and beauty of the game.Q:Why do you think Willie Mays finally agreed to be interviewed extensively for a biography?A:Timing was part of the reason. Willie was 77 when I first met him, and I believe he was ready to reflect on the totality of his life and encourage those around him to do so well. I was a complete stranger to Willie, but I now believe that helped me. Willie is extraordinarily proud of his life--quite mindful of that trajectory, from a poor, Depression-era black kid from the Deep South to someone who now rides on Air Force One with the president. While I asked Willie to do something that he really doesn't enjoy--talk about himself--I believe that he wanted an outsider to independently validate his accomplishments as well as disappointments.Q:What was your most unexpected discovery while researching and writingWillie Mays?A:Willie made baseball look so easy that most people assumed he just took the field and breezed through the season. Henry Aaron told me that some of the black players, who had to work extra hard just to keep their spots on the roster, resented Willie because he made baseball look so effortless. The fact is, even Willie's peers had no appreciation of his sacrifices, both physical and emotional. Those sacrifices caused Willie to be hospitalized on several occasions during his career--he was simply too tired to compete, and the pressure of being Willie Mays was at times too great even for Willie Mays. That was a surprise, but the revelation also made Willie a more human and sympathetic figure.Look InsideWillie Mays(Photos Courtesy of Willie Mays)Click on each image below to see a larger viewMays met President Obama before hiscandidacy for the White House, and fulfilledone of his dreams by accompanying thePresident on Air Force one to attend the 2009 All-Star Game in St. Louis.Willie (bottom row, fourth from the left) wasonly fifteen when he played brieflyfor the Chattanooga Choo Choos.Beyond baseball, Mays wants his legacy tobe his Say Hey Foundation, which isdedicated to supporting organizationsfor children.Mae Allen Mays set aside her career as asocial worker to be Willie's life partnerand soul mate.Mays's long history of helping children reflectshis belief that kids, unlike adults, will alwaysappreciate your efforts and will never betray you.--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Books - New and Used

The following guidelines apply to books:

  • New: A brand-new copy with cover and original protective wrapping intact. Books with markings of any kind on the cover or pages, books marked as "Bargain" or "Remainder," or with any other labels attached, may not be listed as New condition.
  • Used - Good: All pages and cover are intact (including the dust cover, if applicable). Spine may show signs of wear. Pages may include limited notes and highlighting. May include "From the library of" labels. Shrink wrap, dust covers, or boxed set case may be missing. Item may be missing bundled media.
  • Used - Acceptable: All pages and the cover are intact, but shrink wrap, dust covers, or boxed set case may be missing. Pages may include limited notes, highlighting, or minor water damage but the text is readable. Item may but the dust cover may be missing. Pages may include limited notes and highlighting, but the text cannot be obscured or unreadable.

Note: Some electronic material access codes are valid only for one user. For this reason, used books, including books listed in the Used – Like New condition, may not come with functional electronic material access codes.

Shipping Fees

  • Stevens Books offers FREE SHIPPING everywhere in the United States for ALL non-book orders, and $3.99 for each book.
  • Packages are shipped from Monday to Friday.
  • No additional fees and charges.

Delivery Times

The usual time for processing an order is 24 hours (1 business day), but may vary depending on the availability of products ordered. This period excludes delivery times, which depend on your geographic location.

Estimated delivery times:

  • Standard Shipping: 5-8 business days
  • Expedited Shipping: 3-5 business days

Shipping method varies depending on what is being shipped.  

Tracking
All orders are shipped with a tracking number. Once your order has left our warehouse, a confirmation e-mail with a tracking number will be sent to you. You will be able to track your package at all times. 

Damaged Parcel
If your package has been delivered in a PO Box, please note that we are not responsible for any damage that may result (consequences of extreme temperatures, theft, etc.). 

If you have any questions regarding shipping or want to know about the status of an order, please contact us or email to support@stevensbooks.com.

You may return most items within 30 days of delivery for a full refund.

To be eligible for a return, your item must be unused and in the same condition that you received it. It must also be in the original packaging.

Several types of goods are exempt from being returned. Perishable goods such as food, flowers, newspapers or magazines cannot be returned. We also do not accept products that are intimate or sanitary goods, hazardous materials, or flammable liquids or gases.

Additional non-returnable items:

  • Gift cards
  • Downloadable software products
  • Some health and personal care items

To complete your return, we require a tracking number, which shows the items which you already returned to us.
There are certain situations where only partial refunds are granted (if applicable)

  • Book with obvious signs of use
  • CD, DVD, VHS tape, software, video game, cassette tape, or vinyl record that has been opened
  • Any item not in its original condition, is damaged or missing parts for reasons not due to our error
  • Any item that is returned more than 30 days after delivery

Items returned to us as a result of our error will receive a full refund,some returns may be subject to a restocking fee of 7% of the total item price, please contact a customer care team member to see if your return is subject. Returns that arrived on time and were as described are subject to a restocking fee.

Items returned to us that were not the result of our error, including items returned to us due to an invalid or incomplete address, will be refunded the original item price less our standard restocking fees.

If the item is returned to us for any of the following reasons, a 15% restocking fee will be applied to your refund total and you will be asked to pay for return shipping:

  • Item(s) no longer needed or wanted.
  • Item(s) returned to us due to an invalid or incomplete address.
  • Item(s) returned to us that were not a result of our error.

You should expect to receive your refund within four weeks of giving your package to the return shipper, however, in many cases you will receive a refund more quickly. This time period includes the transit time for us to receive your return from the shipper (5 to 10 business days), the time it takes us to process your return once we receive it (3 to 5 business days), and the time it takes your bank to process our refund request (5 to 10 business days).

If you need to return an item, please Contact Us with your order number and details about the product you would like to return. We will respond quickly with instructions for how to return items from your order.


Shipping Cost


We'll pay the return shipping costs if the return is a result of our error (you received an incorrect or defective item, etc.). In other cases, you will be responsible for paying for your own shipping costs for returning your item. Shipping costs are non-refundable. If you receive a refund, the cost of return shipping will be deducted from your refund.

Depending on where you live, the time it may take for your exchanged product to reach you, may vary.

If you are shipping an item over $75, you should consider using a trackable shipping service or purchasing shipping insurance. We don’t guarantee that we will receive your returned item.

$16.10

    Condition

Arrives: -
In Stock

Overview
Authorized by Willie Mays and written by aNew York Timesbestselling author, this is the definitive biography of one of baseball's immortals.Considered to be "as monumental--and enigmatic--a legend as American sport has ever seen"(Sports Illustrated), 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. With 3,283 hits, 660 home runs, and 338 stolen bases, he was a blend of power, speed, and stylistic bravado that enraptured fans for more than two decades. Now, in the first biography authorized by and written with the cooperation of Willie Mays, James Hirsch reveals the man behind the player.Willie is perhaps best known for "The Catch"--his breathtaking over-the-shoulder grab in the 1954 World Series. But he 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 complex portrait of one of America's most significant cultural icons.A Conversation with Author James HirschQ:As a baseball fan, what were your impressions of Willie Mays before you first approached him regarding a book?A:I never actually saw him play, but I grew up in St. Louis, and Cardinal announcer Jack Buck used to describe Mays as "the greatest player I ever saw" and speak of him with such reverence that the name itself was pure magic. Over the years, I read some stories about him and saw some video clips, and my impression was of a player who had mastered all parts of the game. As it happened, that impression didn't change. In considering who the greatest player of all time was, I conclude that Babe Ruth was baseball's most dominant player while Willie Mays was its greatest master.Q:The biography includes a rich description and analysis of “The Catch”--the play in the 1954 World Series for which Willie Mays is perhaps best known. What were your sources for this passage? How much time did you spend researching and crafting it? Was it more, or less, difficult to write than any other given passage in the book?A:Willie himself has discussed "The Catch" many times over the years, including in the locker room immediately after the game. The key, for me, was to capture not just his athletic skill but the true artistry of the moment. I found an interview that Willie gave in the 1990s in which he walked through the mental calculations he made while running toward the centerfield fence, trying to determine how he was going to throw the ball before the runner on second could tag up and score. It was Willie's most scientific, but also his most elegant, account of the play.Beyond filling in the gaps with Willie in person, I interviewed as many people I could find who saw the play, including players (Alvin Dark, Monte Irvin, Al Rosen) and sportswriters (Roger Kahn, Robert Creamer), and I culled the many descriptions of it that have been recorded, including from the hitter Vic Wertz and the second base umpire, Jocko Conlan. All told, I had about 35 eyewitness accounts. Given the wealth of information--Arnold Hano wrote an entire book about "The Catch"--the biggest challenge was finding some fresh angles.It was often said that "The Catch" was Willie's signature play. But it was more than that. It established the Willie Mays brand name--to this day, you can go to any ball field, watch a kid make a catch over his shoulder, and someone will scream, "Willie Mays!" I don't believe there is anything comparable with any athlete in any sport. What's also important is that "The Catch" now lives in the film footage that is played over and over on TV or on computers. The film is in black-and-white, but the following year, the World Series was filmed in color. Symbolically, we passed into the modern era--and indeed, Willie played most of his career in what we would consider the modern era, defined in part by the relocation of teams, World Series night games, and the widening financial divide between players and their fans. Yet Willie's defining moment placed him in that earlier era--the black-and-white television age, if you will--when players were more integrated into their communities, World Series games started in the afternoon, and owners didn't betray fans. Willie Mays, through the constant showing of "The Catch," has become our touchstone to that bygone era.Q:How would you sum up Mays’s legacy, both within the game of baseball and outside of it?A:That was the single most important question I wanted to answer, and I discovered it when I went to speak to my son's second-grade class. After talking to the students about how to write stories, I asked how many of them had heard of Willie Mays. I was shocked by how many hands went up--most of the boys, and some of the girls. I asked how they knew about Willie. Some had seen "The Catch" on ESPN, but many told me that their fathers, or their grandfathers, or their uncles had told them about "the great Willie Mays." The kids didn't really know anything about Willie, except that he represented this platonic ideal of baseball perfection. It was then that I realized Willie's legacy is not his numbers, his records, or the games he helped win. It is the pure joy that he brought to those fans who watched him and the loving memories that have been passed to future generations so they might know the magic and beauty of the game.Q:Why do you think Willie Mays finally agreed to be interviewed extensively for a biography?A:Timing was part of the reason. Willie was 77 when I first met him, and I believe he was ready to reflect on the totality of his life and encourage those around him to do so well. I was a complete stranger to Willie, but I now believe that helped me. Willie is extraordinarily proud of his life--quite mindful of that trajectory, from a poor, Depression-era black kid from the Deep South to someone who now rides on Air Force One with the president. While I asked Willie to do something that he really doesn't enjoy--talk about himself--I believe that he wanted an outsider to independently validate his accomplishments as well as disappointments.Q:What was your most unexpected discovery while researching and writingWillie Mays?A:Willie made baseball look so easy that most people assumed he just took the field and breezed through the season. Henry Aaron told me that some of the black players, who had to work extra hard just to keep their spots on the roster, resented Willie because he made baseball look so effortless. The fact is, even Willie's peers had no appreciation of his sacrifices, both physical and emotional. Those sacrifices caused Willie to be hospitalized on several occasions during his career--he was simply too tired to compete, and the pressure of being Willie Mays was at times too great even for Willie Mays. That was a surprise, but the revelation also made Willie a more human and sympathetic figure.Look InsideWillie Mays(Photos Courtesy of Willie Mays)Click on each image below to see a larger viewMays met President Obama before hiscandidacy for the White House, and fulfilledone of his dreams by accompanying thePresident on Air Force one to attend the 2009 All-Star Game in St. Louis.Willie (bottom row, fourth from the left) wasonly fifteen when he played brieflyfor the Chattanooga Choo Choos.Beyond baseball, Mays wants his legacy tobe his Say Hey Foundation, which isdedicated to supporting organizationsfor children.Mae Allen Mays set aside her career as asocial worker to be Willie's life partnerand soul mate.Mays's long history of helping children reflectshis belief that kids, unlike adults, will alwaysappreciate your efforts and will never betray you.--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
ISBN: 0743599845
ISBN13: 9780743599849
Author: James S Hirsch
Publisher: Simon & Schuster Audio
Format: Audio CD
PublicationDate: 2010-02-09
Language: English
Edition: Abridged
Dimensions: 5.0 x 1.25 x 6.0 inches
Weight: 16.0 ounces
Authorized by Willie Mays and written by aNew York Timesbestselling author, this is the definitive biography of one of baseball's immortals.Considered to be "as monumental--and enigmatic--a legend as American sport has ever seen"(Sports Illustrated), 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. With 3,283 hits, 660 home runs, and 338 stolen bases, he was a blend of power, speed, and stylistic bravado that enraptured fans for more than two decades. Now, in the first biography authorized by and written with the cooperation of Willie Mays, James Hirsch reveals the man behind the player.Willie is perhaps best known for "The Catch"--his breathtaking over-the-shoulder grab in the 1954 World Series. But he 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 complex portrait of one of America's most significant cultural icons.A Conversation with Author James HirschQ:As a baseball fan, what were your impressions of Willie Mays before you first approached him regarding a book?A:I never actually saw him play, but I grew up in St. Louis, and Cardinal announcer Jack Buck used to describe Mays as "the greatest player I ever saw" and speak of him with such reverence that the name itself was pure magic. Over the years, I read some stories about him and saw some video clips, and my impression was of a player who had mastered all parts of the game. As it happened, that impression didn't change. In considering who the greatest player of all time was, I conclude that Babe Ruth was baseball's most dominant player while Willie Mays was its greatest master.Q:The biography includes a rich description and analysis of “The Catch”--the play in the 1954 World Series for which Willie Mays is perhaps best known. What were your sources for this passage? How much time did you spend researching and crafting it? Was it more, or less, difficult to write than any other given passage in the book?A:Willie himself has discussed "The Catch" many times over the years, including in the locker room immediately after the game. The key, for me, was to capture not just his athletic skill but the true artistry of the moment. I found an interview that Willie gave in the 1990s in which he walked through the mental calculations he made while running toward the centerfield fence, trying to determine how he was going to throw the ball before the runner on second could tag up and score. It was Willie's most scientific, but also his most elegant, account of the play.Beyond filling in the gaps with Willie in person, I interviewed as many people I could find who saw the play, including players (Alvin Dark, Monte Irvin, Al Rosen) and sportswriters (Roger Kahn, Robert Creamer), and I culled the many descriptions of it that have been recorded, including from the hitter Vic Wertz and the second base umpire, Jocko Conlan. All told, I had about 35 eyewitness accounts. Given the wealth of information--Arnold Hano wrote an entire book about "The Catch"--the biggest challenge was finding some fresh angles.It was often said that "The Catch" was Willie's signature play. But it was more than that. It established the Willie Mays brand name--to this day, you can go to any ball field, watch a kid make a catch over his shoulder, and someone will scream, "Willie Mays!" I don't believe there is anything comparable with any athlete in any sport. What's also important is that "The Catch" now lives in the film footage that is played over and over on TV or on computers. The film is in black-and-white, but the following year, the World Series was filmed in color. Symbolically, we passed into the modern era--and indeed, Willie played most of his career in what we would consider the modern era, defined in part by the relocation of teams, World Series night games, and the widening financial divide between players and their fans. Yet Willie's defining moment placed him in that earlier era--the black-and-white television age, if you will--when players were more integrated into their communities, World Series games started in the afternoon, and owners didn't betray fans. Willie Mays, through the constant showing of "The Catch," has become our touchstone to that bygone era.Q:How would you sum up Mays’s legacy, both within the game of baseball and outside of it?A:That was the single most important question I wanted to answer, and I discovered it when I went to speak to my son's second-grade class. After talking to the students about how to write stories, I asked how many of them had heard of Willie Mays. I was shocked by how many hands went up--most of the boys, and some of the girls. I asked how they knew about Willie. Some had seen "The Catch" on ESPN, but many told me that their fathers, or their grandfathers, or their uncles had told them about "the great Willie Mays." The kids didn't really know anything about Willie, except that he represented this platonic ideal of baseball perfection. It was then that I realized Willie's legacy is not his numbers, his records, or the games he helped win. It is the pure joy that he brought to those fans who watched him and the loving memories that have been passed to future generations so they might know the magic and beauty of the game.Q:Why do you think Willie Mays finally agreed to be interviewed extensively for a biography?A:Timing was part of the reason. Willie was 77 when I first met him, and I believe he was ready to reflect on the totality of his life and encourage those around him to do so well. I was a complete stranger to Willie, but I now believe that helped me. Willie is extraordinarily proud of his life--quite mindful of that trajectory, from a poor, Depression-era black kid from the Deep South to someone who now rides on Air Force One with the president. While I asked Willie to do something that he really doesn't enjoy--talk about himself--I believe that he wanted an outsider to independently validate his accomplishments as well as disappointments.Q:What was your most unexpected discovery while researching and writingWillie Mays?A:Willie made baseball look so easy that most people assumed he just took the field and breezed through the season. Henry Aaron told me that some of the black players, who had to work extra hard just to keep their spots on the roster, resented Willie because he made baseball look so effortless. The fact is, even Willie's peers had no appreciation of his sacrifices, both physical and emotional. Those sacrifices caused Willie to be hospitalized on several occasions during his career--he was simply too tired to compete, and the pressure of being Willie Mays was at times too great even for Willie Mays. That was a surprise, but the revelation also made Willie a more human and sympathetic figure.Look InsideWillie Mays(Photos Courtesy of Willie Mays)Click on each image below to see a larger viewMays met President Obama before hiscandidacy for the White House, and fulfilledone of his dreams by accompanying thePresident on Air Force one to attend the 2009 All-Star Game in St. Louis.Willie (bottom row, fourth from the left) wasonly fifteen when he played brieflyfor the Chattanooga Choo Choos.Beyond baseball, Mays wants his legacy tobe his Say Hey Foundation, which isdedicated to supporting organizationsfor children.Mae Allen Mays set aside her career as asocial worker to be Willie's life partnerand soul mate.Mays's long history of helping children reflectshis belief that kids, unlike adults, will alwaysappreciate your efforts and will never betray you.--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Books - New and Used

The following guidelines apply to books:

  • New: A brand-new copy with cover and original protective wrapping intact. Books with markings of any kind on the cover or pages, books marked as "Bargain" or "Remainder," or with any other labels attached, may not be listed as New condition.
  • Used - Good: All pages and cover are intact (including the dust cover, if applicable). Spine may show signs of wear. Pages may include limited notes and highlighting. May include "From the library of" labels. Shrink wrap, dust covers, or boxed set case may be missing. Item may be missing bundled media.
  • Used - Acceptable: All pages and the cover are intact, but shrink wrap, dust covers, or boxed set case may be missing. Pages may include limited notes, highlighting, or minor water damage but the text is readable. Item may but the dust cover may be missing. Pages may include limited notes and highlighting, but the text cannot be obscured or unreadable.

Note: Some electronic material access codes are valid only for one user. For this reason, used books, including books listed in the Used – Like New condition, may not come with functional electronic material access codes.

Shipping Fees

  • Stevens Books offers FREE SHIPPING everywhere in the United States for ALL non-book orders, and $3.99 for each book.
  • Packages are shipped from Monday to Friday.
  • No additional fees and charges.

Delivery Times

The usual time for processing an order is 24 hours (1 business day), but may vary depending on the availability of products ordered. This period excludes delivery times, which depend on your geographic location.

Estimated delivery times:

  • Standard Shipping: 5-8 business days
  • Expedited Shipping: 3-5 business days

Shipping method varies depending on what is being shipped.  

Tracking
All orders are shipped with a tracking number. Once your order has left our warehouse, a confirmation e-mail with a tracking number will be sent to you. You will be able to track your package at all times. 

Damaged Parcel
If your package has been delivered in a PO Box, please note that we are not responsible for any damage that may result (consequences of extreme temperatures, theft, etc.). 

If you have any questions regarding shipping or want to know about the status of an order, please contact us or email to support@stevensbooks.com.

You may return most items within 30 days of delivery for a full refund.

To be eligible for a return, your item must be unused and in the same condition that you received it. It must also be in the original packaging.

Several types of goods are exempt from being returned. Perishable goods such as food, flowers, newspapers or magazines cannot be returned. We also do not accept products that are intimate or sanitary goods, hazardous materials, or flammable liquids or gases.

Additional non-returnable items:

  • Gift cards
  • Downloadable software products
  • Some health and personal care items

To complete your return, we require a tracking number, which shows the items which you already returned to us.
There are certain situations where only partial refunds are granted (if applicable)

  • Book with obvious signs of use
  • CD, DVD, VHS tape, software, video game, cassette tape, or vinyl record that has been opened
  • Any item not in its original condition, is damaged or missing parts for reasons not due to our error
  • Any item that is returned more than 30 days after delivery

Items returned to us as a result of our error will receive a full refund,some returns may be subject to a restocking fee of 7% of the total item price, please contact a customer care team member to see if your return is subject. Returns that arrived on time and were as described are subject to a restocking fee.

Items returned to us that were not the result of our error, including items returned to us due to an invalid or incomplete address, will be refunded the original item price less our standard restocking fees.

If the item is returned to us for any of the following reasons, a 15% restocking fee will be applied to your refund total and you will be asked to pay for return shipping:

  • Item(s) no longer needed or wanted.
  • Item(s) returned to us due to an invalid or incomplete address.
  • Item(s) returned to us that were not a result of our error.

You should expect to receive your refund within four weeks of giving your package to the return shipper, however, in many cases you will receive a refund more quickly. This time period includes the transit time for us to receive your return from the shipper (5 to 10 business days), the time it takes us to process your return once we receive it (3 to 5 business days), and the time it takes your bank to process our refund request (5 to 10 business days).

If you need to return an item, please Contact Us with your order number and details about the product you would like to return. We will respond quickly with instructions for how to return items from your order.


Shipping Cost


We'll pay the return shipping costs if the return is a result of our error (you received an incorrect or defective item, etc.). In other cases, you will be responsible for paying for your own shipping costs for returning your item. Shipping costs are non-refundable. If you receive a refund, the cost of return shipping will be deducted from your refund.

Depending on where you live, the time it may take for your exchanged product to reach you, may vary.

If you are shipping an item over $75, you should consider using a trackable shipping service or purchasing shipping insurance. We don’t guarantee that we will receive your returned item.

X

Oops!

Sorry, it looks like some products are not available in selected quantity.

OK

Sign up to the Stevens Books Newsletter

For the latest books, recommendations, author interviews and more

By signing up, I confirm that I'm over 16. To find out what personal data we collect and how we use it, please visit. our Privacy Policy.