Willie Mays to appear in HBO doc as he celebrates 90th birthday
"The spirit he played with and the way he carried himself changed the game and people’s attitudes. I’m glad he’s still going strong,” tweeted President Obama.
Willie Mays is 90 and still making big moves.
The baseball Hall of Famer turned 90 on May 6 and has a documentary dropping. A few notable fans ran to social media to celebrate the living legend.
“Happy 90th birthday to Willie Mays! If it wasn’t for folks like Willie and Jackie Robinson, I might never have made it to the White House. The spirit he played with and the way he carried himself changed the game and people’s attitudes. I’m glad he’s still going strong,” tweeted President Obama.
The MLB Twitter account posted a special video to celebrate Mays alongside a caption that read, “Happy 90th birthday to the legendary Willie Mays!”
Former attorney General Eric Holder also gave Mays a shoutout.
“Willie Mays is the greatest all around baseball player of all time and among the nicest people I know. He is a man of quiet dignity and unfailing kindness. Happy 90th birthday to one of my childhood idols,” wrote Holder.
Mays played for the New York/San Francisco Giants for the first 21 years of his career but halfway through went to New York Mets in 1972.
The Westfield, AL native has 12 Gold Glove Awards, 24 All-Star honors, and two NL MVP awards per PEOPLE. He also played with the Birmingham Barons of the Negro American League and contributed to eradicating racism in baseball.
He left the sport with 3,283 hits and was placed in the baseball Hall of Fame in 1979. So it’s only right Mays has a documentary coming up to educate the next generation on his legacy.
“Some say that throughout my life I have inspired others, but the truth is that so many have done this for me,” said Mays to Deadline on his 90th birthday. “My teammates, my friends, and of course the fans mean so much to me. And so I hope this documentary can give back to all of them something enjoyable and inspiring in return.”
Mays is baseball’s oldest living Hall of Famer.
“Willie Mays is an American icon, a prime example of black excellence and baseball’s greatest player,” said the project’s director, Nelson George. “It’s an honor to be able to chronicle his journey from the Negro Leagues in Alabama, stardom with the Giants in Harlem and to the game’s apex in San Francisco.”
The documentary will take a deep look into the player’s career and includes contemporary interviews. The HBO Sports collaboration with UNINTERRUPTED, Zipper Bros Films, and the MLB is expected to drop on HBO in 2022 and will appear on HBO Max.
Back in 2010, Mays spoke on what made him more than just a baseball player and the advice he received from his father.
“When I played ball, I tried to make sure that everybody enjoyed what I was doing,” Mays said to NPR. “I made the clubhouse guy fit me a cap that when I ran, the wind gets up in the bottom and it flies right off. People love that type of stuff.”
He added: “My father was a steel mill worker, and he would teach me the game of baseball. So when I came to Birmingham Black Barons, I already knew how to play the game. My father had already taught me that you can do just anything in the outfield.”
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