Dad – The SF Giants – Willie Mays… growing up with Dad

Willie Mays SF Giants All Time Great

Being with a major advertising agency gave Dad some perks which I much enjoyed. Dad had always been a baseball fan and when the NY Giants moved to San Francisco in 1958, we started attending games regularly – usually Dad had VIP tickets in the Sports Illustrated Box. The games blur together for me from 1958 through 1962. The big memory was attending one of the playoff games in 1961 against the Dodgers. I came home from that game with a baseball signed by everyone on the team. I still have it. You can still make out the signatures of Willie Mays, Orlando Cepeda, Joe Amalfatano, Willie McCovey, Felipe Rojas Alou, Bob Schmitt, Jim Davenport, Don Blasingame, Billy Loes, Jim Marshall, Mike McCormick, Bill O’Dell, Stu Miller, and a host of others. For me, two things stood out… the Giants lost – which seemed typical and frustrating because they always seemed so close. Second, I had a baseball signed by Willie Mays and Willie McCovey! Willie Mays was my sports hero. After the 1962 series, we stopped going for reasons I don’t remember and I lost interest in the game. But to the last weeks of his life, Dad still sat in front of the TV listening and watching as best he could to baseball games. The all-American pastime.

Happy 80th birthday – Willie Mays – 2011

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