Thursday, April 12, 2012

The Greatest Giant of All Time

While Willie McCovey is my favorite Giant of all time and probably the most feared hitter of all time, there is little doubt who the best Giant of all time is.

I picked up this Mays card from Napkin Doon is a trade recently in exchange for a few 2011 Bowman cards he needed towards his set.  He included a few other Giants as well that are greatly appreciated.  I went a little crazy with 2011 Bowman and bought and traded enough to build all the different sets (base, chrome prospects, prospects) from the first release.  If you have any set or team needs let me know.

Last year I read a biography on Mays, Willie Mays: The Life, the Legend, that gave me some great insight and tons of respect for Mays both as a man and a ball player.  It was a lengthy book and covered all areas of his life from his younger days growing up near Birmingham, Alabama through his entire career in the Negro Leagues and MLB with the Giants and Mets and some post playing day information as well.  Mays was one of the earlier African Americans to play in the major leagues and while he comes nowhere close to making the impact that Jackie Robinson did, Mays did have an interesting impact on integrating baseball.  He was perhaps one of the first crossover African American players that was universally beloved, the players and fans regardless of race seemed to like him as a player and a person.  I am sure he has his share of racial hatred thrown his way but nothing compared to players like Robinson and Hank Aaron.  One exception talked about in the book was a house he bought in San Francisco where he and his wife were driven out of the neighborhood by a developer who didn't want the neighborhood to become a "black neighborhood".  I really enjoyed the book and would suggest it for anyone interested in Mays life or to get a better understanding of baseball and life in the 50s and 60s.

In my first mailday post, I alluded to a big pick up that deserved a post of its own.  I guess with the other things I included it isn't getting its own post but it is one of the most awesome cards in my collection.

I bought this 1955 Bowman card of the great Willie Mays off a seller on Sports Card Forum.  It isn't in perfect shape but it is in really nice shape and I love it!  This Bowman set is one of my favorites with the TV Set view and wood borders.  Mays is posed in a position that looks like he is ready to chase after a deep fly ball and make another amazing catch.  This is Mays' 4th Bowman card after the 51, 52 and 54 releases and probably the oldest one I will ever own. However, I never thought this beauty would enter my collection either so who knows.  I have been picking up some 55 Bowman Giants on the auction portion of Sportlots for a few months now and only need 4 of 15 Giants to complete the team set.  The Hoyt Wilhelm is the only high priced one left so I am hoping to finish off that set sometime this year.  I just added by 1955 want list and will continue to update it so let me know if you have any of my needs.


  1. Good post and nice Willie WoodTV!

  2. I think Willie is a lot like Jackie to collectors. No matter what you think of the team, it's difficult to think that about the player, too. Mays will always get a pass with me, even if he was a Giant.