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I saw Willie Mays

Willie Mays, maybe the best baseball player in history, was on Jon Stewart this week.
Seeing him took me back to my childhood.

Longtime readers might remember that I grew up baseball.
St. Louis was and always will be a Cardinal baseball town.
In St. Louis, you often see three generations at a game together.
Besides the New Orleans Saints, no town has more love for their team than St. Louis

My Dad was a big shot at The Sporting News in the fifties and sixties.
He wrote editorials for the newspaper but publisher Johnson Spink took the credit. 
He used to take me to games at Sportsman's Park at Grand and Dozier in North St Louis

Since Dad was a baseball expert, he tried to involve his idiot son Bart,
who liked baseball but I didn't have the passion for baseball that Dad did.

But I remember one day in 1962 when I was 8 years old, he took me to a Cardinals game 
when they hosted the San Francisco Giants which meant the great Willie Mays was in town.

First time Willie came to bat, my Dad said, "Hey, check out this next batter. 
His name is Willie Mays and he has the smoothest swing in baseball."

St Louis is such a cool baseball town.
When they announced Willie was coming to the plate, the crowd applauded.
They don't boo a superb (is that a good enough word?) athlete - they cheer for great talent.

I remember he was fast, too.
Willie got a hit and stole second and he ran so fast I just couldn't believe it.

He ended his career with 660 career home runs, and he was in the army for two years.
If not for his military service, he likely would've hit 740 home runs - without steroids.
That would've made Mays the all-time king, not just a member of baseball's Mount Rushmore.

Kids today probably don't know much about Mays - do you know why?
Because he took a job with a casinoe* and gambling is a sin - God said so.

"I will smiteth thee if thee works at a casinoe*."

When Baseball Commissioner Bowie Kuhn heard that Mays wanted to earn a living, 
he suspended Mays and Mickey Mantle from involvement in organized baseball for 
violating the league's rules on gambling. 


You can't suspend Willie f-ing Mays and Mickey f-ing Mantle.
They WERE baseball - Bowie Kuhn was a turd in baseball's toilet bowl.

Anyone else out there old enough to have seen a sports legend live?
Don't write and say Derek Jeter - you know what I mean.

  I saw a legend, Bart!  |  Discuss it on The BartCop ForumComment on it at the BartBlog!

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