SAN FRANCISCO (CBS SF) — San Francisco Giants great Willie Mays turned 90 on Thursday, triggering an avalanche of well wishes from former President Barack Obama, NFL great and Bay Area native Tom Brady, legendary Dodgers announcer Vin Scully and Warriors star Steph Curry among others.
Mays captivated the sports world during his Hall of Fame career that spanned the Giants’ move to the San Francisco Bay Area from New York’s Polo Fields. During his 22-year MLB career, Mays hit .302 with 660 home runs and 1,903 RBI.
He also became and remains a beloved Bay Area icon transcending baseball.
“Happy 90th birthday to Willie Mays!,” former President Obama posted on Twitter. “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.”
While Scully spent his life being the voice of the Dodgers, he still admired Mays amid the LA-San Francisco baseball rivalry.
“Willie Mays has always been my favorite player, and I’ve seen a few. Happy 90th Birthday Willie!,” Scully posted.
Brady, who grew up in San Mateo, sent along a video salute from one GOAT to another. He recalled making a trip as an 12-year-old to Spring training and getting a baseball with Mays autograph on it.
“I’m sure you don’t remember, when I was 12 years old I was fortunate enough to meet you at training camp in Arizona and you signed a baseball for me,” Brady said. “That still sits in my office to this day and it’s one of the great pieces of memorabilia that I had and it’s also a great reminder for me that simple acts of kindness go a very long way.”
— SFGiants (@SFGiants) May 6, 2021
Golden State Head Coach Steve Kerr and Steph Curry joined the chorus.
“In my mind you were the Steph Curry of your day,” Kerr said. “The combination of supreme talent and extreme joy is just breathtaking to watch. You have meant so much to baseball and to the City of San Francisco and the Bay Area.”
Curry followed with his admiration.
“Happy 90th birthday Willie Mays,” the Warriors star said. “What a special, special milestone. To give you flowers and celebrate your work on and off the field. You are an icon. You are a legend. You have paved the way for so many who have come after you. And we celebrate you to the fullest.”
CBS News legend Dan Rather was also a long-time fan.
“I’ve seen lots of great athletes in my lifetime,” Rather posted on Twitter. “Few played with the joy, brilliance, and sheer talent of Willie Mays. A Giant among mere mortals. When he was on the field, it was electric. Happy Birthday to the Say Hey Kid on turning 90!”
Players across the league also joined in with a video of well wishes from the stars of today’s game.
Happy 90th birthday to the legendary Willie Mays! pic.twitter.com/TwKGXD7P1S
— MLB (@MLB) May 6, 2021
— vernkpix (@vernKPIX) May 6, 2021