24: Life Stories and Lessons from the Say Hey Kid

St. Martin’s. May 2020. 352p. ISBN 9781250230423. |$28.99. SPORTS
Baseball legend Mays, with coauthor Shea (San Francisco Chronicle), presents 24 motivational themes within an autobiographical framework. Included are many never-before-told stories from Mays’s youth, playing days in the Negro Leagues, the golden era of baseball in New York, the Giants’s relocation to San Francisco, his Hall of Fame career, and his postretirement life as a public advocate for the game he loves. The athlete’s upbeat personality shines even when discussing difficult topics such as the racism he faced on and off the field throughout his career playing for the New York–turned– San Francisco Giants and later the New York Mets. Readers seeking a comprehensive, more objective biography might prefer James S. Hirsch’s Willie Mays, but this work offers a unique opportunity to hear Mays in his own words as he shares his enthusiasm for helping others to build a better world.
VERDICT The iconic uniform number 24 is the inspiration for the life story of Mays, told in his own words. Baseball fans of all ages and anyone seeking inspiration will enjoy memories and motivation shared in a warm, joyous manner by the irrepressible Say Hey Kid.

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