The Willie Mays Story | 24: Life Stories and Lessons from the Say Hey Kid
Yes, yes, yes and yes! Thrivetime Nation on today’s show we are interviewing the co-author of the new book, 24: Life Stories and Lessons from the Say Hey Kid by Willie Mays and John Shea. John Shea, welcome onto the Thrivetime Show! How are you sir!?
John, Willie Mays was one of my father’s favorite baseball players who wowed fans for 22 years with his unbelievable ability to hit a baseball and his game-changing defensive skills…How did you first meet the great Willie Mays?
I grew up in the Bay area
I started covering the Giants in 1988
He was a childhood hero of mine
I first met Willie Mays at spring training in Scottsdale, Arizona.
John, how would you describe the childhood of Willie Mays?
John, Willie Mays began his professional baseball career playing baseball in the Negro Leagues before joining the New York Giants in 1951…what role do you think that baseball played in ending segregation?
Willie grew up in the Jim Crow south and he didn’t have much
He always viewed life in a positive manner
He came up in the Birmingham area – in the 1940s
NOTABLE QUOTABLE – “Willie Mays made it absurd to be a racist.” – Bill Clinton
Mays was a magnetic character and caused bigots to look in the mirror and say, “How can I be racist?”
John, Willie once said, “I was very fortunate to play sports. All the anger in me went out. I had to do what I had to do. If you stay angry all the time, then you really don’t have a good life.” Having spent a massive amount of time with Willie Mays…how would you describe Willie Mays?
Willie Mays signed with the New York Giants after graduating from high school in 1950 and was sent to the minors and he had to endure segregated living conditions and racial taunts from fans…yet still he had a batting average of .477 through 35 games…what does this say about Willie Mays in your mind?
Willie was incredible because of his incredible all-around skills…in your mind what was Willie’s greatest skill?
He was so good at all areas of the game, it is hard to say one
If you asked him, he would tell you that he was most proud of his defense.
John, Willie was twice named as Most Valuable Player of baseball and finished among the all-time leaders in home runs and hits…in your mind what made Willie Mays truly great?
John, how and when did the idea to write, 24: Life Stories and Lessons from the Say Hey Kid first come about?
John, in your book you chose to include 24 chapters to correspond with his universally recognized uniform number…what was the most profound thing that you learned from the time that you spent with the legend, Willie Mays?
I know that your book 24: Life Stories and Lessons from the Say Hey Kid , you really get into the details, but from your perspective in what ways was Willie Mays most under-rated?
Willie Howard Mays Jr. was born May 6, 1931, in the mill town of Westfield, Alabama, and he was raised under the close watch of two aunts after his parents separated…what impact do you believe that this made on Willie Mays?
What kind of leadership qualities did Willie Mays possess in your mind?
John I know that you spent 15 years working with Willie to put together this book of incredible stories…in your mind…how would all of our business-owning listeners and aspiring entrepreneurs benefit from purchasing Willie’s book, 24: Life Stories and Lessons from the Say Hey Kid?
I think that we can all learn from the life of Willie Mays.
What advice would you give the younger version of yourself?
We find that most successful entrepreneurs tend to have idiosyncrasies that are actually their super powers…what idiosyncrasy do you have?
John, I am obsessed with Will Clark, what is the statistical probability that you will help me to get Will Clark booked onto the Thrivetime Show podcast?