| ||Quotes by Willie Mays|
"Baseball is a game, yes. It is also a business. But what it most truly is is disguised combat. For all its gentility, its almost leisurely pace, baseball is violence under wraps."
--Quoted in "Willie Mays" by Arnold Hano
"Don't get me wrong, I like to hit. But there's nothing like getting out there in the outfield, running after a ball and throwing somebody out trying to take that extra base. That's real fun."
--Quoted in "The Sporting News" on April 20, 1955
"I don't compare 'em, I just catch 'em."
--When asked which of his catches was his greatest
"They throw the ball, I hit it; they hit the ball, I catch it."
--On his formula for success in baseball, widely quoted
"When you catch a ball high, head high or higher and have to make a throw afterwards, what do you do? You have to bring the ball down before you can get it away.
"But when you catch the ball as I do you are in position to get rid of it right now without any delay."
--On making his famous "basket" catches, quoted by Sec Taylor in "Baseball Digest"
Quotes about Mays
"There have been only two authentic geniuses in the world, Willie Mays and Willie Shakespeare."
--Actress Tallulah Bankhead
"If somebody came up and hit .450, stole 100 bases, and performed a miracle in the field everyday I'd still look you in the eye and say Willie was better. He could do the five things you have to do to be a superstar: hit, hit with power, run, throw and field. And he had that other magic ingredient that turns a superstar into a super superstar. He lit up the room when he came in. He was a joy to be around."
--By Leo Durocher, quoted in "Grand Slams and Fumbles" by Peter Beilenson
"It was his solemn duty to catch a ball that wasn't in the stands."
--By Monte Irvin, 1981
"The ball came down in Utica. I know. I was managing there at the time."
--Lefty Gomez on a homer Mays hit off Warren Spahn
"He was something like 0 for 21 the first time I saw him. His first major league hit was a home run off me--and I'll never forgive myself. We might have gotten rid of Willie forever if I'd only struck him out."
--By Warren Spahn (ed. note: Mays was 0-for-12 when he face Spahn for the first time.)
"The last time Willie Mays dropped a pop fly he had a rattle in one hand and a bonnet on his head."
--By Jim Murray
Today - SportsCentury biography of Willie Mays